Constitutional Conference, Statement of Conclusions (14-16 June 1971).

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Date: 1971-06-14
By: Secretariat of the Conference
Citation: Constitutional Conference, Statement of Conclusions (Victoria: 14-16 June 1971).
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June 14-16, 1981


1. The 7th meeting of the Constitutional Conference was held in Victoria on June 14-16, 1971, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the entry of British Columbia into Confederation.

2. The Conference discussions dealt with constitutional provisions as set forth in a Charter which is based on the consensus arrived at in the Working Session of the Constitutional Conference in February 1971. While that consensus was the starting point, the negotiations at the Victoria Conference have been extensive and far-reaching. The First Ministers have agreed that the texts as drafted are of such importance that they should be reported to all governments for consideration. If the Charter, which is to be treated as a while, is accepted, and this acceptance is communicated to the Secretary of the Constitutional Conference by Monday, June 28th, 1971, governments will recommend the Charter to their Legislative Assemblies and, in the case of the federal government, to both Houses of Parliament.

3. The acceptance of the Charter by both houses of Parliament and by the Legislative Assemblies would enable the necessary action to be taken to patriate the Canadian Constitution, so that the power to amend and to enact constitutional provisions will rest exclusively with the Canadian people.

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4. The proposed Charter also contains the terms of a formula for amending the Constitution entirely within Canada, and a number of other provisions to be incorporated into the Constitution at the time of patriation. These provisions are concerned with certain basic political and language rights, regional disparities, the Supreme Court of Canada, federal-provincial consultation, and the repeal of reservation and disallowance. In addition, a number of steps would be taken to bring the language of the Constitution up to date, including the renaming of certain enactments, and the deletion of spent and irrelevant provisions.

5. The Constitutional Conference also discussed the subject of social policy. It agreed to include in the proposed Charter an amendment to Section 94A of the B.N.A. Act by adding to its provisions family, youth, and occupational training allowances. In addition, a new sub-section is to be added requiring consultation by the Government of Canada with the provinces on any proposed legislation in relation to a matter covered by the revised section.

6. An early meeting of First Ministers will be held to discuss all aspects of federal-provincial fiscal arrangements, including tax reform, shared-cost programs, equalization and tax sharing.

7. First Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Prime Minister of British Columbia for his hospitality in receing the Conference in Victoria in his province’s centennial year.

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