Fourth Meeting, Constitutional Conference – Notes for Introductory Comments – Patriation

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Fourth Meeting, Constitutional Conference
June 14-16, 1971

June 8th, 1971.



1. We have distributed a memorandum to the provincial
governments dated May 11th, 1971 (copy of English and French
versions in our briefing book, under Tab 20, and in the
Secretariat folder). The following points require special

2. We are assuming that the “agreement among the govern-
ments” referred to in the February Conclusions (quoted p. 1 of
memorandum) will be achieved here (we hope in the form of an
agreement among all first ministers to recommend the Charter to
their respective legislative bodies for approval).

3. As for the resolutions to be passed in the two Houses
of Parliament and the legislative assemblies (discussed pp. 1-2
of memorandum) there was, I understand, agreement at the Minis-
terial Meeting of May 31-June 1, that the same wording should
be included in all of them, as follows:


“ … that this House Assembly, etc.
approve the issuance of a Proclamation
by the Governor General, proclaiming
the following provisions respecting the
Constitution of Canada to come into
force on a date to be fixed by that


“… que cette Chambre (Assemblée,
etc.) approuve le lancement d’une
proclamation par le gouverneur général
énonçant que les dispositions qui
suivent relatives a la Constitution
du Canada entreront en vigueur à une
date fixée par cette proclamation.”

To this resolution would be attached the Charter as agreed on
here in Victoria. This would not, of course, prevent the in-
clusion of other material in the resolutions, as may be
appropriate for each legislative body.

4. Concerning the U.K. enactment (see p. 2 of our
memorandum of May 11, Tab 20 our book, and in Secretariat folder).

– Discussions were held in London last month
by the Minister of Justice with the British


– the various considerations involved from the
Canadian and British viewpoints were discussed;

– Mr. Turner suggested that we would not be in
a position to make a formal request for an enact-
ment until after March, 1972 at the earliest;

– there appears to be no serious problem involved

– the British government is quite
willing to proceed with appropriate
legislation when the time comes;

– the specifics of the statute were
discussed and a working draft was
considered containing the elements
agreed to in February (see p. 1 of

– it is not possible at this point
to put before provincial governments
any draft, as the British government
as a whole has not had an opportunity
to consider it yet;

– however, before the U.K. Parliament
is asked to proceed with any legisla-
tion provincial governments will have
an opportunity to consider a draft.

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