Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Inquiry into Whether Quebec Answered Request for Negotiations”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (17 November 1981)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 12835-12836.
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COMMONS DEBATES — November 17, 1981
INQUIRY WHETHER QUEBEC ANSWERED REQUEST FOR
Mr. Jacques Olivier (Longueuil): Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Social Development, who is responsible for constitutional affairs. I do not know whether he is in the House. If he is not, my question is directed, Madam Speaker, to the Prime Minister of Canada.
Following frequent appeals made by the Minister of Justice to the PQ government of Quebec to reopen negotiations and to negotiate in good faith with a view to reaching an agreement, and also considering very specific offers made by the Prime Minister of Canada this weekend in Quebec, can the Minister of Justice tell us whether the government of Quebec has shown any willingness to negotiate or if there has not been any response as yet to his request for negotiations?
Hon. Jean Chrétien (Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Social Development): Madam Speaker, last week I was in touch with two ministers of the Quebec government, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I offered to meet them and discuss the proposals made by the Prime Minister on the day the agreement was signed, November 5, when he offered the government of Quebec various alternatives. The answer was that they did not want to talk to me until the resolution had been tabled in the National Assembly, and since then, no one has been in touch with me. We are still willing to talk to the government of Quebec and try to reach an agreement on the three points Mr. Levesque could not sign on the day of the agreement, but unfortunately,
as yet no indication has been given the Canadian government that they want to negotiate.