Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Non-Confidence Motion—Patriation of Constitution”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (22 October 1980)

Document Information

Date: 1980-10-22
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1980 at 3936-3959.
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).

DEBATES October 22, 1980

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Leader of the Opposition) moved:
That this House supports the immediate patriation of the Constitution of
Canada, incorporating only the generally agreed upon amending formula known
as the Vancouver consensus, so that all other constitutional changes shall be
made in Canada by Canadians.
He said: Madam Speaker, I regret that I must rise today to
introduce a motion which, I believe, could move Canada from
a bitter impasse over constitutional questions in the shadow of
the announcement by the government House leader that the
Government of Canada intends to invoke the rules of closure
to stop the Parliament of Canada from debating the Constitu—
tion of Canada.
Some hon. Members: Shame!
Mr. Clark: I regret indeed that hon. members opposite
invoke closure when there have been more speakers on the
motion from the government side than there have been from
the ranks of the official opposition.
This matter will be discussed at greater length in the
country and in the House of Commons, as indeed it was
discussed during the pipeline debate when closure was used to
stop the right of Parliament to debate a matter——
Mr. Cousineau: And to filibuster,
Mr. Clark: —which would have struck at the heart of the
nation. We will discuss it more, but I want to make two points.
One is that this is not the normal kind of stoppage of debate
we have had. This is the closure of C. D. Howe. This is not the
modified Standing Order 75C, so-called. This is pipeline clo-
sure. This is the kind of closure which was used, unhappily, in
1957 to try to ride roughshod over the rights of this House of
Commons. That is what is being done again today by this
Some hon. Members: Shame!
Mr. Clark: It is interesting to note that the last time this
kind of C. D. Howe closure was used, it was used to force upon
Parliament changes in the rulcs of Parliament. It was used
then for the first time in the history of the British parliamen’
tary tradition anywhere in the world to change the rules of
parliament. Now again that extreme and extraordinary meas-
ure of closure—that full force C. D. Howe kind of closure—is
being used, to stop debate which has not been excessive,
because government speakers have spoken more than hon.
members in this party have, it is being used not on a minor
matter but on the fundamental law of the land. Hon. members
opposite do not want our constitution debated. They want to
cut off debate. They want to stop the right of Canadians in
Canada’s Parliament to discuss the constitution of this coun-
try. That is unacceptable.
Mr. Collenettez Rubbish!
Mr. Clark: Because we respect both this institution and this
nation, for which disrespect has been shown by the actions of
this government, and because we respect the constitution of
this nation, what we are proposing, by contrast, is a means by
which Canadians can act today to bring the constitution of
Canada home today so that Canadians can change it here in
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: The motion that we have introduced provides:
That this House supports the immediate patriatiou of the Constitution of
Canada, incorporating only the generally agreed upon amending formula known
as the Vancouver consensus, so that all other constitutional changes shall be
made in Canada by Canadians.
This motion calls for the Parliament and the people of
Canada to act quickly on the one constitutional question with
which virtually every Canadian agrees, that is, to have the
constitution of Canada here at home in Canada.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau)
has consistently said he wants our constitution home, I have
consistently said I want our constitution home, so has the
Leader of the NDP and so has every other member of the
House of Commons. What this motion offers is an opportunity
to stop talking and to start acting to bring the Canadian
Constitution home to Canada in a way that respects the rules
and traditions of this House and respects the rules and the
nature of this country.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: More than that, this motion today provides a
way to ensure that we can work with our constitution once we
get it here. It allows the whole Parliament of Canada to
approve an amending formula which was accepted in principle
by the committee of officials working on constitutional reform
through the summer and, even more than that, which was
accepted in principle by all the provincial premiers when they
met in Ottawa in September, and which was accepted in
principle by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Chrétien).
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!

October 22, 1980 COMMONS
Mr. Chrétien: Not true.
Mr. Clark: Those are matters of Canadian agreement,
agreement on having our constitution home, agreement on the
Vancouver formula as the way to work with that constitution
once we have it home.
Unfortunately, in recent days the focus of attention in the
nation has been on the disagreements which exist on constitu-
tional questions, disagreements which are deep and which are
in danger of becoming even deeper. But we should not let those
serious disagreements obscure the fact that very real progress
was made this summer, and that Canada is, for the first time
in at least a decade, in a position where agreement exists as to
both the necessity and the means of bringing our Canadian
constitution home.
We in this party want Canada to act on that agreement, and
our motion provides the instrument to let Parliament start the
action to get the Constitution of Canada home so that Canadi-
ans can work with it.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: We are all aware in this House and throughout
the country that discord and disagreement in Canada on how
we should renew our federation grow worse with every passing
day. We know that, with budget and energy policy coming,
other deeply wounding controversies may well lie ahead of this
Parliament and of this country. For the sake of our country, all
Canadians must come together on common, solid ground. We
must do it free of partisan recriminations, and we must do it
free of any kind of narrow perspective.
On September 13 the ?rst ministers’ conference broke
down. Now is not the time to assess blame for that; we have
had enough blaming. It is time in this country for some
building, building for Canada. To that September conference
all the participants came with packages of reforms which they
wanted. Obviously, it would have been the best thing for our
country if a balanced, comprehensive compromise package of
reforms and improvements in the constitution had been agreed
on. But that did not happen, as the House knows. What did
happen, however, was the emergence of the Vancouver consen-
sus as a formula accepted in principle by virtually all of the
participants in the closed session in September.
That formula allows amendments to the constitution, and
allows them now, Mr. Speaker, not two years hence. It does
not freeze the Constitution of Canada for two years, so that
the people of Quebec, who might want more changes, are told,
“No, you cannot have them for two years.” lt does not freeze
our constitution for two years so that the people of western
Canada who might want changes are told, “No, you cannot
have them for two years; it is frozen.” Instead, it gives us a
means and an instrument by which we in this country can use
and change our constitution right now. It is a device we can
use today. It is not a device we must wait for two years to use.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
The Constitution
Mr. Clark: And as the House will know, that formula also
protects the provinces of Canada, because it provides the
fundamental guarantee that no province can be affected by an
amendment unless it chooses to be affected. Thus does it
reflect the essential partnership of Canada. Thus does it
respect the essential nature of a federal system.
There is no ideal formula but that one has the decided
advantage of having been approved, in the present context, by
all the partners in federation. Given this approval in principle,
it is time all partners set aside, for the time being, all the
constitutional amendments they propose. It is time they join in
bringing the constitution back to Canada so that the required
changes can be effected afterwards by Canadians, in Canada.
Let us ask the British Parliament merely to give us back our
constitution with the generally accepted Vancouver formula.
Let us make that happen quickly and let us then, without the
intervention of another country, promptly update our federa-
tive agreement.
I cannot understand, Mr. Speaker, why the government
insists on a procedure that would have Britain pass amend-
ments to the Constitution of Canada instead of letting Canada
pass amendments to the Constitution of Canada.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Surely, Mr. Speaker, our constitution is our
business. We should be dealing with our constitution here in
Canada and we should not be waiting two years, we should be
doing it now. What is so tragic about the way we are proceed-
ing is that the Government of Canada not only wants the
British to change our constitution but wants us to be prevented
from working with our constitution for at least two years.
Neither of those is acceptable to me. l am a Canadian, l want
to have my constitution here.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: I see no reason to wait. I see no reason to put in
an unnecessary two~year delay, because we can have our
constitution home quickly, we can have an amendment for-
mula agreed to quickly, and we can do it quickly. If this
motion is accepted, the will of Parliament will be clear. The
will of the premiers is already clear; they accepted in principle
the Vancouver consensus when they met in September.
Mr. Chrétien: Not true.
Mr. Clark: The Minister of Justice says that is not true. But
he knows that is true.
Mr. Chrétien: Ask Bill Davis.
Mr. Clark: He suggests that we ask the Premier of Ontario.
The Premier of Ontario indicated, in the last l5 to 20 days,
that he is prepared to accept the Vancouver amending

DEBATES October 22, I980
The Constitution
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: That is why we have a basis of agreement here.
If I could speak of the one provincial government of the
party which in this House agrees with the Minister of Justice,
the Premier of Saskatchewan, he has indicated that he too
would ?nd the Vancouver amending formula acceptable.
Those are the facts, and the Minister of Justice, if he has any
respect for the truth or the federal system, should accept that
fact and act on it.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Then, with the will of Parliament clear, as it
could be if members rise above party and vote to support this
amendment, and with the will of the premiers clear, we can
work quickly on the details of the Vancouver formula, to
which I will come later. Then we can work on amendments
which will allow us to begin work immediately to change our
constitution here in this country. If that happens, if the House
of Commons is prepared to rise above party matters and is
prepared to accept this motion which allows the House of
Commons to bring our constitution home today with an
acceptable amending formula, I believe we can then start
immediately, we can start this week. Instead of bringing in
closure which will divide this country, we could start this week
to have officials sit down and discuss the wide range of
amendments Canadians might want.
Q (I520)
The chairman of the premiers, Mr, Lyon, has suggested that
it would be useful to meet again, that we should not write off
all the work done this summer, that we should not let the
failure of the September conference mean the failure of consti-
tutional reform. He said that there should be more meetings,
there should be more discussions. How much more fruitful it
would be if those new meetings and new discussions occur in
the context of agreement, not only on having our constitution
here, but on the formula by which we can have it here‘? That
agreement exists; that agreement exists.
Mr. Chrétien: Not true.
Clark: It was accepted in principle by all of the first
ministers. The Minister of Justice says that it is not true.
Perhaps his boss, perhaps the Prime Minister does not agree
with it, but every premier does. Every premier is prepared to
accept that formula and to use it to bring the Constitution of
Canada home.
Mr. Chrétien: No, no; it is not true.
Some hon. Members: I-Iear, hear!
Mr. Clark: If the atmosphere is positive we can get agree-
ment on constitutional change. If the atmosphere is negative in
this country, and it shows that there is a real risk of it
becoming deeply negative on this question, on energy questions
and other questions, then we will not get agreement on even
the simplest kind of changes. That would set back deeply and
dangerously the process and the promise of constitutional
change in this country. If this motion is accepted, if we bring
our constitution home with the Vancouver formula, then we
will have both the momentum and the means to achieve
Canadian amendments to the Canadian Constitution right
here in Canada.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Ever since the end of the first ministers‘ confer-
ence we have been calling for precisely that approaeh-patri-
ate with the Vancouver consensus amending formula and then
make changes in the Canadian Constitution in Canada by
Canadians. In our view it is undeniably the way to make
constitutional change a source of bringing Canadians together
rather than driving them apart, because they will be driven
apart, and they are being driven apart by the current proposed
constitutional resolution of the government.
Our views on the dangers for federalism in the proposed
resolution are well known, and we intend to keep on making
them as forcefully as we can. If we are gagged in Parliament
by the use of closure, we will carry our case to the country. A
majority of provinces are now testing the constitutionality of
this proposal in the courts. It is not just a few provinces but a
majority of the provinces of Canada. Premiers are attacking
premiers. Federalists in the province of Quebec are disastrous-
ly divided, to the joy and to the bene?t only of the separatists
of the province of Quebec. Western Canadians and Atlantic
Canadians justly resent the second-class status and the third-
class status of their provinces inherent in the Prime Minister‘s
redesigned Victoria amending formula.
All provinces have just cause to fear the dangers to the basic
federal character of Canada in the proposed section 42 where
a federally-written, federally~timed referendum could allow
Ottawa to go around the other order of government entirely.
Plans for provincial referenda multiply. What kind of a situa-
tion will we have with different levels of government asking
different questions on the same subject of the same people, and
getting different answers’? What will that lead us to here in
this country? It will lead us to chaos in this country, constitu-
tional chaos in this country.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: We have no need for that chaos because we have
the means here for agreement. There is a Canadian will to
have our constitution at home. There is a Canadian Way to
have our constitution at home in the Vancouver amending
formula. What is needed is a willingness on the part of the
Liberal party to rise above narrow partisanship and to support
this principle which will let Canadians have their constitution
home. Why does the Liberal party oppose having Canada’s
constitution home this week? Why does the Liberal party
oppose the amending formula which is accepted by all the first
ministers? Why is the Liberal party standing in the way of the
people of Canada having the constitution of Canada here at
home so we can amend it, live with it and work with it in

October 22, I980 COMMONS
Canada? Why is there that kind of opposition? There should
not be. What we need, instead, is a determination to move
forward now, immediately, to bring our constitution to Canada
in a way that we can work with it in Canada.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: The government can introduce closure if they
will. They intend-to do that with the respect for Parliament
that was shown by the late C. D. Howe. That is their intention.
An hon. Member: What respect do you have when you
Mr. Clark: They talk about a filibuster. This must be the
?rst time in the history of Canada or in the history of the
British parliamentary system that anyone has talked about
filibuster when the government has spoken more than the
official opposition.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Collenette: Not true.
Mr. Clark: I will admit that the speakers of the official
opposition have made more sense than the speakers of the
government party, There have been I9 Liberal spokesmen and
only 18 Progressive Conservative spokesmen, and they call it a
Mr. Collenette: What about the NDP‘! They are part of the
Mr. Clark: The Parliamentary Secretary to the President of
the Privy Council (Mr. Collenette) suggests that the NDP
should be considered part of my party. I am not exchanging
letters with the hon. Leader of the NDP (Mr. Broadbent).
Some hon. Members: I-Iear, hear!
Mr. Clark: But I say to members like the hon. member for
Yorkton~Melville (Mr, Nystrom), the hon. member for Prince
Albert (Mr. Hovdebo), members who, I know, are concerned
about the substance of the resolution brought forward by the
government, and to members such as the hon. member for
Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) who, I believe, would
be opposed to closure on a constitutional question, that I hope
when the time comes for them to cast their votes at a quarter
to six this afternoon they will consider whether they want to
invite deep rancour and deep division in this country by
proceeding both with closure and with a constitutional package
they know is divisive, or whether they would prefer to adopt
the motion before the House now which would let the Parlia-
ment of Canada act today to bring the constitution home
immediately in the way that Canadians want.
There are a number of merits to the constitutional amending
formula which has been agreed to by the premiers. Of course
one merit is the single fact that it has been agreed to. When all
of the conditions that were uttered at the first ministers‘
conference are set aside, when all connections to any packages
The Constitution
are put aside, the House must ask the question: why was that
formula given virtually unanimous approval in September‘!
Why did it emerge as the only focus of ministerial consider-
ation this summer‘! Why was the Victoria formula of 1971 not
that focus? Why did Premier Davis just the other day
acknowledge that he understood the Victoria formula was no
longer acceptable’! What other generally agreed on formula
has ever emerged over all the last several years of debate’? The
Vancouver consensus is the inescapable amending formula in
I980 for this country. It is the only formula that seeks
harmony in the federalism of Canada and allows unity in the
national life of this country.
The Vancouver formula applies to the realities of the day
and will allow us to build the Canada of tomorrow. At present,
it provides that constitutional changes may be made with the
consent of Parliament and of two thirds of the provinces
comprising at least 50 per cent of the population. However, if
the amendment approved by the required majority concerns,
first the powers of a provincial legislature to make laws,
second the rights and privileges granted or guaranteed by the
constitution to the legislature or the government of a province,
third the assets or property of a province or, fourth, the natural
resources of a province, dissenting provinces may dissociate
themselves from the amendment, which would not apply in
their case.
Q (1530)
I want to emphasize that among those advantages of the
Vancouver formula——l draw this to the attention of my col-
leagues in the New Democratic Party——there is a clear guar-
antee of natural resource jurisdiction. It is not a guarantee
which can be overriden by a referendum triggered unilaterally
without any other cause than the will of the Prime Minister. lt
is a guarantee that will endure. It is a guarantee that provinces
can count on unless they choose themselves to surrender or to
modify that situation.
The words which I have just used to describe that proposal
are drawn from the report to the ?rst ministers by the continu-
ing committee of ministers on the constitution, a committee
which I must say was ably co-chaired by the hon. Minister of
Justice and by the attorney general of Saskatchewan. There
remained some details to work out, especially concerning how
to deal with amendments of universal applicability, which
cannot be subjected to opting out, whether constitutional
provision should be made for the financial implications of
opting out of amendments. Those are details. Those are details
which can be dealt with.
The Minister of Finance (Mr. MacEachen) and the Minis-
ter of Justice propose to use closure to stop Parliament from
debating a matter when the government spokesmen have out-
numbered the spokesmen of the official opposition. The Minis-
ter of Justice is skeptical that we can work out those details. I

DEBATES October 22, 1980
The Constitution
have faith in Canada. I have faith in the capacity of Canadians
to work out those details.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: What is more, I believe Canadians should be
given the chance. Why leave the decisions to the British? We
are an independent, sovereign country. I want us to act like
Canadians, not like colonials. This provision would allow us to
do that.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Various proposals were suggested in the continu-
ing committce‘s report, and it seems clear that final agreement
was clearly within reach with no fundamental issue of princi-
ple threatening to polarize or divide opinion. In our view those
?nal stages of negotiation could be completed in short order.
No participant in the September conference has suggested
otherwise. Perhaps the Minister of Justice will today, but it
will be the first time because he has not suggested otherwise
before, nor have the representatives of the premiers.
We do know that the Prime Minister himself was prepared
to accept the Vancouver consensus if—and he applied a condi-
tion—he got agreement for his package of constitutional
changes. And I cannot believe that he would have taken that
position concerning an amending formula that was neither
sensible nor workable. He was bargaining with it. He was
bargaining with the Vancouver formula but, by being prepared
to bargain with it, he knew that if his bluff was called, if there
was agreement with this price, then he would have to deliver
on the package. So clearly on the question of principle, on the
question of the merits, the Prime Minister of Canada himself
accepts the Vancouver amending formula, as did every other
first minister at that table in September.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Clark: Indeed, the government’s leaked memo is at
pains to list several advantages to the formula, advantages to
Canada, and to minimize the disadvantages. One disadvan-
tage, which the Prime Minister has talked about since that
time, is that the opting-out formula might lead to what he calls
a checkerboard effect. On page 28 of that leaked memo it said:
No amendment could be made without the consent of Parliament. So there
would be a foderal check on any checkerboard effect that might be brought
about by “opting out”: that is Parliament or the government could decline to
proceed with an amendment where the provinces did not all agree.
Finally, the governments advisers from the Department of
Justice contend that-—and again I read from page 29 of the
-if the provincial consensus (on the Vancouver formula) . . . holds, the federal
government could consider joining the majority position.
That was the secret advice, the secret decision of the Gov-
ernment of Canada prior to the first ministers‘ conference.
Why will they not accept in public what they accepted in
secrecy? Why will they not let Parliament act today on a
formula which they were prepared to accept in September?
What has changed‘? Why_do they want to stop Parliament
from acting now to have our constitution here in Canada
where we, in Canada, can work on it‘? The secret document
went on to suggest appropriate arrangements on the side of
details referred to earlier.
We know now that the provincial consensus on the Vancou-
ver formula did hold. But the Prime Minister would not agree
to join that clear consensus without agreement on his package.
It was then the Prime Minister who stopped agreement. As I
said earlier, no partner in our federation should now hold all of
Canada up to ransom for their own hidden agenda items. The
way lay open in September to patriation with the Vancouver
formula. It lies open now. And beyond that achievement,
which could be finalized in all stages in a matter of weeks, lies
the prospect of having the means here in Canada for Canadi-
ans to amend our constitution, free from hidden agenda, free
from veto, free from referenda, which could override the
provinces and destroy the nature of the federal system, and
free from blockage.
I believe we have a great opportunity here today to make the
most out of unusual circumstances. There is great hope among
the people of Canada that we can get an agreement on
constitutional change. I remember going into the province of
Quebec during the referendum campaign and speaking sin-
cerely about the need for constitutional renewal. l know the
attitude in western Canada, the region of Canada from which
I come. I know there is a deep sense there that change is
needed. I know that in every corner of this land there is a
determination to end the colonial system that leaves our
constitution in another country and that permits decisions
affecting us to be taken by another government. There is a
desire to have Canadians act, not only to bring our constitution
home but to have it here where we can work with it.
The Prime Minister has amendments that he wants. The
Leader of the NDP has amendments that he wants and I have
amendments that I want. Premiers have amendments that they
want. They can all be dealt with here in Canada and they can
be dealt with in accordance with the Vancouver formula. l
know I am approaching the end of my allotted time, and sol
will conclude by saying that everyone in Canada wants to have
constitutional change. Everyone in Canada wants to have our
constitution here at home. The reason there is opposition to the
government proposal is that they want to have Britain make
changes which we believe should only be made here in Canada.
They want to continue a colonial status which we want to end.
But instead of holding up the House of Commons in debate,
our party is today proposing a means by which the Parliament
of Canada can act to bring the Constitution of Canada home,
to be amended in Canada. It can be done if there is a will in
the House of Commons to do it. I pray that there is that will,
so that Canadians can change our own constitution here in our
own country.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa): Madam Speaker, I rise
to participate in this—
Mr. Knowles: You mean “Mr. Speaker.”

October 22, 1980 COMMONS
Mr. Broadbent: We have changed Speakers, I see. I am
corrected by the sage of the House, who has just pointed out to
me we have changed Speakers.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to participate with pleasure in this very
important debate, which is really a continuation of the debate
which has been going on for a number of days on the future of
this country. I would like to pick up on one suggestion made by
the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Clark), that the approach
to constitutional change be made in a non-partisan fashion as
much as possible. Shortly after the referendum the Leader of
the Opposition expressed sentiments of the kind expressed by
the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau).
q (mo)
Mr. Andre: How do you know that? We did not participate?
Mr. Broadbent: I listened to my colleagues on my right, and
I would appreciate their indulgence for a few minutes. They
may disagree with what I have to say, but I would have
thought that it would have pleased even the member of the
Conservative party most immediately to my right.
When the country’s constitution is changed it should be
done through consensus here in the House of Commons,
outside the House, amongst the provinces, the premiers and
the ordinary people of our land wherever they may live.
Without criticizing the Leader of the Opposition, but simply to
illustrate the point, so far, in the discussion on the proposed
resolution introduced by the Govenrment of Canada, there has
been some partisan reaction. I will not pass judgment on the
decision-making process which led to that reaction.
Two Conservative premiers, one from New Brunswick and
one from Ontario, have indicated their support for the resolu-
tion. Then there are other Conservative premiers who, with
equal good will-I am not presupposing that difference of
attitude—-have indicated their opposition to the government’s
proposal. The Premier of Saskatchewan, as members of this
House well know, has not made up his mind finally on the
measure. He sees certain matters which he likes and other
which he does not like. The point I am making is that in some
quarters there is a feeling of give and take which is appropriate
when a nation experiences the kind of severe change which is
inevitably involved in constitutional change.
I would like to see that kind of spirit in this debate and the
pre-supposition that good will will prevail amongst those with
whom we differ. I have no higher regard for the Premier of
New Brunswick because he happens to be closer to my position
on this issue than I have for the Premier of British Columbia.
They are two different Canadians expressing their judgments,
and I merely happen to be more in agreement with one than
with the other. Nor am I questioning motives.
When the Leader of the Opposition says rhetorically, and he
means it substantively, that we should stop being colonials and
bring the constitution back to Canada before we make the
changes, to a certain real extent he is game-playing.
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
The Constitution
Mr. Broadbentz I would like to make my argument. What
we have before us in the government resolution are topics
which have been debated in Canada and upon which judgment
has been passed by the people in the provinces and the House
of Commons. In fact it is a Canadian decision, and the British
parliament will not act unless they get a recommendation from
the people of Canada. We all know that.
I suggest that there is some weakness—and I will not put it
any stronger than that-in the argument that by opting for the
approach put forth by the Leader of the Opposition over the
approach initiated by the Government of Canada, we would
somehow be more Canadian. Both involve a decision-making
process, the outcome of which will be determined by Canadi-
ans. One may be more preferable than the other, but the
fundamental, intellectual truth of the situation, surely, is that
both decisions, whether we adopt the Conservative party
approach or the approach proposed by the Government of
Canada, will result in a decision made by Canadians, and no
one else, in the final analysis.
There are some very serious implications in the approach
proposed by the Leader of the Opposition. There are some
things in the government proposal in which my party pro-
foundly believe, such as the entrenchment of rights and the
establishment of language rights for the two official languages
which exist in our land. At this historical point in our history I
believe that these subjects ought to be entrenched, because 1
fear that the opportunity may not arise again. There is the
principle of equalization. This principle can be improved upon,
and we will deal with that in committee. It is a principle in
which I believe.
There is also the commitment, although it is very fundamen~
tal now because the government has made a commitment, that
the provinces of Canada will have the right to control and
manage the development of their resources. I say to the Leader
of the Opposition as a member from western Canada that that
is very important at this point in our history. Premier Blakeney
said the very same thing at a press conference held today in
I would also say to the Leader of the Opposition that if we
reject the government’s approach and accept his approach“
and I will come to the concerns which I have over his
approach~we will lose the points I have just mentioned.
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Broadbent: I see that the opposition leader is shaking
his head, and I will come back to that point in a minute. We
will lose those things. It has been suggested by an hon.
member from Newfoundland, a former cabinet minister who
ought to have known better, that the proposal of the New
Democratic Party on the question of resources was aimed at
the province of Saskatchewan. I say to that member as a man
who grew up in Ontario, nothing could be further from the
truth, and I mean that.
If I thought, for example, that we could have obtained the
right for Newfoundland to have control of their offshore
resources, he can be sure that that would have been a principal

DEBATES October 22, l980
The Constitution
part of the bargaining instrument because that is the position
of our party. We believe that the offshore provinces should be
put on the same basis as the inshore provinces. That is our
belief, but we were not in a position to do anything, and I state
it frankly because it is no secret. We have our strength in
western Canada and the Liberal party is weak in western
One can see these moves within the political process in two
ways. One can look at it and say, “Ah, somehow that is cynical
wheeling and dealing”. That is the essence of democratic
politics that it be conducted openly. If we believe in the
consensual approach to constitutional change, and if there are
in a proposal many things in which we believe, as my party
saw in the constitutional proposal, such as fundamental rights,
language rights and equalization, and you also saw something
which was missing in terms of resource control which was
important to western Canadians as well as others, and you saw
the means of negotiating because of your strength, then I think
it is appropriate in a democratic system to negotiate toughly
and get it, and we got it.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
An hon. Member: You sold out.
Mr. Broadbent: Someone has said that we sold out. I would
say to the Conservatives, “What have you obtained for the
people of Canada?” Not a thing. The people of Newfoundland
should pay attention with some care to what Mr. Peckford is
saying because, as a result of constitutional entrenchment
which will amount to two full pages of constitutional text, over
resources all the provinces will have substantial power. As a
result of its inclusion in the constitution, Mr. Peckford, if he is
still premier at the time, will have the clear authority to
manage and control the right of, for example, development of
hydroelectric power in Labrador and Newfoundland itself. No
longer will private corporations be able to challenge the right
in the courts or his participation in interprovincial trade, as is
the case today. The victory which we have won in this debate
is for the people of Newfoundland not just the people of the
prairies. Similarly,-—
-—in Quebec, Mr. Levesque wants control over asbestos.
With those rights entrenched in the constitution, the Quebec
government, presently that of Mr. Lévesque or perhaps in the
future that of Mr. Ryan or someone else, could also have
control over those natural resources. It could decide what it
wants as far as asbestos is concerned. It would be its right,
which is not the case at present, because the Supreme Court
has made certain decisions in the past which have changed the
present constitutional reality of Canada.
Q (I550)
So I say to our friend in the Conservative party, not only for
Newfoundland but for the people of the province of Quebec,
this constitutional amendment, giving them a right to control
the management of their resources, is of profound importance.
and I am proud to play a role in that.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Broadbeut: In Alberta and Saskatchewan the same
right holds for the development of taxing powers over their
gas, over their oil and, indeed, over their potash.
I should like a member of the Conservative party to put on
record, sometime, how many millions of dollars the right to
indirect taxation on oil and gas is going to mean to Mr.
Lougheed. We have done some preliminary calculations and
even for Alberta, Mr. Speaker, “it ain’t hay”. So the prairie
provinces are going to benefit as well.
British Columbia, a province that has gas, a province that
has lumber resources but which wants to set up planning
mechanisms and that wants to set up a pro-rationing method
of development, under the constitutional change that we have
proposed and that the government has accepted, the govern-
ment of British Columbia——whether led by Mr. Bennett, or
before long, we anticipate, Mr. Barrett-—will be able to do so.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Broadbent: The point is that the resource amendment
that the government has decided to accept is not without
significance; it is something of real importance to every region
and province in our land.
Mr. Clark: Ask Allen Blakeney.
Mr. Broadbent: The Leader of the Opposition tells me to
ask Allen Blakeney. Mr. Blakeney spoke for himself a couple
of hours ago and said the same thing.
Mr. Clark: Check the record.
Mr. Broadbent: Mr. Speaker, I say that if we moved in the
Conservative party’s direction today, if we supported the:
motion before the House, then language rights, fundamental
rights, equalization and provincial control of resources would:
all go out the window. ,
Mr. Clark: That is not true. I
Mr. Broadbent: The Leader of the Opposition says that is’.
not true. But they would go out the window in the precise;
sense that if the motion presented by the government and soi
amended in the future is accepted, we would have those things};
under the Conservative proposal we would have nothing but at;
constitution back here.
In this context, I want to ask about our native people.
Mr. Crombie: They are not protected here.
Mr. Broadbent: A former minister says the native people arefi
not protected here. I correct his in one minor respect onlyzfig
there is a clause referring to existing rights. I say to the House;
that this party intends to work very hard to improve what is
the existing rmolution presented by the government, and

October 22, I980 COMMONS
ensure that the rights of native people are not only as stated in
the bill but are extended well beyond that to include treaty
obligations as well. So we will be ?ghting for that.
In the Tory position——and I do not say this pejoratively as I
am trying to understand it-if we got the constitution back, all
it would mean is we would have it back without any reference
to a clause at all—without any understanding that there would
be anything in it for our Indian and Inuit population or any of
our other native people. At least in the present resolution there
is something that we can amend and improve.
The same point could be made with reference to women’s
rights. There is an affirmative action clause that we like but
that can be improved. There is also, in our judgment, a need to
deal with the constitution in such a way that it would reverse a
number of Supreme Court decisions made in the past decade
the effect of which has not been to establish equality between
men and women, but just the opposite. In the resolution that
the government has offered, we have grounds on which to
make improvements on the matter of women’s rights, and we
intend to do that.
I want to come now, Mr, Speaker, to what in our view is
basically wrong with the Vancouver formula. The former
prime minister, the Leader of the Opposition, says that in his
proposal we would have a “work” something-I do not have
the precise words from his press release of this morning but the
gist of it was that it would be a formula that would enable us
to get speedy and concrete change right away. With all due
respect, I say to him that in my judgment he is wrong, and I
want to tell the House why I think so.
The essence of the Vancouver formula is that all the prov-
inces would particpate in the decision but that any province
would have the right to veto its application to its own province.
That is what is in the Vancouver formula. Of course, the
provinces agreed to that; why would they not‘? They would
each retain a veto over things that affect them; they would
have everything to gain and nothing to lose, but I say to the
Leader of the Opposition, we are a federal party and we have
national responsibilities that go beyond provincial premiers.
An hon. Member: Right on.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Broadbent: If we accepted a formula like that, would
we have medicare in Canada‘?
Some hon. Members: No!
Mr. Broadbent: Would we have hospitalization in Canada?
Some hon. Members: No!
An hon. Member: No thanks to the Tories.
Mr. Broadbent: I say, Mr. Speaker, if we had accepted a
formula such as that proposed in the Vancouver amendment
we would not have a Canada with a common set of rights—of
fundamental decencies, if you like—from coast to coast. We
would have a hodge-podge Canada with a highly differentiated
The Constitution
set of rights and principles. We will have nothing to do with
that kind of Canada.
Mr. Malone: The option is no Canada.
Mr. Broadbent: Not only is that a fundamental ?aw, it is a
serious flaw, and I am disturbed that the Conservative party,
as a federal party, could put that forward as a serious option at
this time. I mean that, because I think it could lead to the
dismemberment—-it could lead to a highly differentiated set of
rights in every region of our land. There could be family law of
one kind in Manitoba, for example, and an entirely different
kind in another province. Some provinces would have medicare
and others would not. What we stand for in this party is a
common sense of Canadian citizenship. That is fundamentally
important, Mr. Speaker.
The other point I want to make is less signi?cant but surely
must cause the Leader of the Opposition some concern. Some
amendments simply cannot be subject to an opting-out for-
mula. I ask the Leader of the Opposition what he would do
with proposed amendments that would change the Senate of
Canada? What would he do with amendments that would
change the Supreme Court of Canada? Will some provinces be
able to opt out’! In other words, Mr. Speaker, it would be
inoperative to take the formula with that kind of require-
ment—an opting-out process for each of the provinces—in
dealing with an idea that we favour, for example, such as
provincial participation in the Supreme Court. That would be
completely inoperative in a federal state.
Mr. Clark: That is not true.
Mr. Broadbent: I stand to be corrected by the Leader of the
Opposition later on, but that is certainly my understanding of
the way it would work.
I understand that my time is just about up, Mr. Speaker,
but I wanted to say to the House that there are many things in
the government bill that we profoundly believe in because they
have been established New Democratic Party policies. Of
course, there are other areas of very serious concern, as my
colleagues have expressed. In committee we will deal with the
amending formula, women’s rights, and native rights. We plan
to fight for improvements in those areas.
As a Canadian, I want the deadlock broken; as a Canadian I
want a reasonable package that has something that is favour~
able to Atlantic Canadians, to people in Ontario and in
Quebec. We have that in equalization and we have it in
language rights, and now we have it in resources. I want action
now so that, to use the phrase of the Leader of the Opposition,
we do not need to continue to be colonials.
If we bring the constitution home along the lines indicated,
we will indeed have a constitution in Canada, and we will have
embedded in it a number of just principles that all Canadians
could defend.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!

DEBATES October 22, 1980
The Constitution
Hon. Jean Chrétien (Minister of Justice and Minister of
State for Social Development): Mr. Speaker, we witnessed this
afternoon what I would call a rather spectacular about-face by
the Leader of the Official Opposition (Mr. Clark). What does
he propose today‘! He is proposing this afternoon immediate
patriation of the constitution, something we have been urging
in this House for months and something all Canadians call for.
He proposes an amending formula that at this point docs not
meet with unanimous approval from the provinces. I attended
the constitutional conference and 1 spent the whole summer,
Mr. Speaker, trying to get a consensus.
We worked on that formula. We considered the implica-
tions. It was first called the Alberta formula and later the
Vancouver formula, because it was considered in Vancouver. It
was clear to all participants that it was probably the most rigid
one that could be included in the constitution, because even
though the provinces might or might not accept some changes,
it was clear to all participants that the federal government,
with an absolute veto in these matters, would very soon be
forced never to accept any constitutional amendment because
we would eventually evolve into a kind of Canada where there
would be certain rights for some Canadians and other rights
for other Canadians. And this is basically unacceptable to
those who believe that Canada must be able to guarantee its
citizens equal rights across the land.
We did consider that formula, but we did so in the following
spirit: We believed at some point that we were going to
enshrine in the constitution the basic rights of Canadians, that
we were going to guarantee Canadians mobility rights; that we
were to guarantee minorities education rights in their first
language wherever they may be in Canada; that we were going
to guarantee Canadians basic liberties, democratic freedoms,
non-discrimination rights, mobility rights and so forth. Since
these rights were to be guaranteed, we could then consider the
formula. But this was only further to agreement on the 12
items or a majority of the items that were under consideration.
And anyway, we were telling participants that aspects of that
formula were not clear. And this was obvious. During the
discussion, the hon. Leader of the Official Opposition referred
to certain difficulties.
For example, what were we to do should any province use
the opting’out clause to withdraw its support of the constitu-
tional amendment, should there be costs incurred by the
people, should this matter not be settled‘! What were we to do
should any part of the constitution not be amendable under the
Vancouver or Alberta formula? Suppose, for example, that
Canada-—-that is nine provinces out of ten plus the federal
government~—decides to have an upper chamber different from
the one we now have. There is no way to settle this matter
because any one province could have stayed outside this insti<
tution by using this formula. If we had another formula~—the
Vancouver formula is incomplete. There were several other
problems of this nature. The Supreme Court,‘ as was men-
tioned by the Leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr.
Broadbent) and all that. And I know——
. (1600)
I know that today it was because of a possible consensus, but
it was not an agreement. It has never been presented as an
agreement by the first ministers. At no time. Never. I defy the
hon. Leader of the Opposition to prove that the ten premiers
were in agreement with that formula.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: We agreed to study the formula. But the
more we looked into the formula, the more ?aws we found,
and until the last moment we agreed to keep looking into it.
If we patriate the constitution today with that formula, it is
to hell with the rights of Canadians because we can never
enshrine them in the constitution. It would be impossible to
have a charter of rights which would apply to all Canadians.
Hon. members only have to listen to the speech of Premier
Lyon, who said that he will always oppose any entrenchment
of a bill of rights in the constitution. He said that time and
time again. So I ask: what will the result be? There will be
rights for certain Canadians but not for others. As long as I
am a parliamentarian, I want to have rights for all Canadians
across this land.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: For instance, take the situation today about
the mobility of manpower.
Mr. Crombie: What about the Indians?
Mr. Chrétien: I will come to the rights of Indians. I am not
embarrassed by that because I worked for a long time on that
An hon. Member: He was the best minister, too.
Mr. Chrétien: We put a provision in the act that all their
rights would be protected, and the incorporation of the charter
of rights will not affect the treaty rights of Indians. It is clear
in the constitution. If the hon. member has the guts to come to
the committee one day and deal with that, we will be able to
cope with that problem. But hon. members are refusing to
come to the committee. The committee will start next week
and we will deal with all of those problems.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: However, there are a lot of other rights.
There were hon. members who made speeches in Quebec who
said they did not want to impose education rights. If the
Fathers of Confederation had had the wisdom to put education
rights in the constitution in 1867, the Canada of today would
have far fewer problems than it has now.
Mr. Clark: They were stupid, too?

October 22, 1980 COMMONS DEBATES 3945
Mr. Chrétien: No, I do not say that. They were not perfect,
neither are we. Nor is the Leader of the Opposition perfect.
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: I am telling hon. members that those rights
have not been protected in the constitution as they should have
been. This is an historical debate—a once in a lifetime chance
and we shall not miss it. But it will be impossible with the
amending formula which the Leader of the Opposition is
suggesting today.
I dealt with ministers all summer. We came close. There
was a lot of good will, but certainly the old problem of trying
to bargain the patriation against something else again was the
flaw which prevented an agreement.
Mr. Clark: It is a shame to have a federation, is it not?
Mr. Chrétien: I say that we want to have the mobility rights
and the non-discriminatory rights protected. What is wrong
with that’?
The freedoms we have in Canada have been gained over the
years. This land has known discrimination in the past, but we
are mature enough to have overcome a lot of it. The progress
that we have made has to be protected forever in the
Mr. Clark: Tell us about the War Measures Act.
Mr. Chrétien: This is just like what John Diefenbaker
wanted to have. I tell hon. members to read the records of
1960 when he was debating the Canadian Bill of Rights. Mr.
Diefenbaker was complaining about the provinces which would
not agree at that time to have rights protected in the Canadian
constitution. We are just finishing the work for Mr. Diefen-
baker today.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: I am appalled to know that the Leader of the
Opposition who comes from western Canada does not feel
strongly about the rights of Canadians.
There are many people in this land who do things and whose
rights seem to be well protected in normal society, but these
rights can disappear very rapidly. Just take a look at other
countries around the world. Some of the most stable societies
have seen the ugly head of racism rising to the surface. That
shall not happen in Canada because rights will be protected in
the constitution.
It is very easy for the majority to have views of minorities. it
is the role of this Parliament to make sure that this land of
ours, it is a land of minorities of all kinds, will see the rights
they have acquired over the last 113 years protected forever in
the Canadian constitution. This is the Canada we are going to
The Constitution
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Q (I610)
Mr. Chrétien: Mr. Speaker, I think that today the right hon.
Leader of the Opposition is trying to ?nd his way out of the
mess he got himself into.
An hon. Member: As usual.
Mr. Chrétien: Today he is proposing the unilateral patria~
tion of the constitution. We did not get any agreement on the
Vancouver formula. There was no such agreement. Show me
the agreement if it does exist. The fact is it does not exist. We
have talked about it and it was always under the condition that
such and such a thing be accepted. They were not accepted.
There was no agreement. Several premiers, several ministers
who attended the conference constantly expressed reservations
regarding this formula. This is why, Mr. Speaker, we prepared
this resolution.
Mr. La Sailez Have there been any agreements on your
Mr. Chrétien: I am pleased the member for Joliette (Mr. La
Salle) raises this issue because we are being accused of not
having gone far enough, of not having forced Ontario, for
instance, to accept section T33, of not having forced the
provinces to accept it. We are being criticized for refraining
from systematically invading the provincial jurisdiction con-
cerning bilingualism in the legislatures and as concerns provin-
cial statutes. Some would have liked us to impose-
An hon. Member: Courts ofjusticc!
Mr. Chrétien: -~certain things to the provinces. We would
have liked to do so, but we have respected the rights of
Mr. Clark: This is what we are asking you to continue
Mr. Chrétien: And that is what we are doing. However, I do
not like people who have a double standard, such as the hon.
member for Joliette, who says: “Impose what I want, but do
not touch what I do not want.” Either we have neutral
patriation»-and in the patriation formula that we are now
proposing, we have basically tried not to effect the balance of
powers between the federal government and the provinces. We
have respected this balance of power and the only change we
have suggested in this regard is the one we accepted today at
the request of the Leader of the New Democratic Party, we
have agreed to change the powers of the provinces so as to
guarantee their control, which is already granted by the consti-
tution, over their own resources by giving them the right to tax
resources indirectly and to legislate in the area of interprovin-

DEBATES October 22, 1980
The Constitution
cial trade subject to the paramountcy of the federal govern-
ment. We have accepted this concept. We had not included it
from the outset for a very simple reason, namely, that we had
decided that we could in no way amend the powers of the
federal government or the provinces. What we wanted to do
was to provide Canadians with the means to prevent the
Canadian government and the provincial legislatures from
infringing on the rights of individuals-
Mr. Clark: As in the case of the war measures!
Mr. Chrétien: Exactly, in the case of the war measures, Mr.
Speaker. I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will recog-
nize that when we have a charter of rights in the constitu-
An hon. Member: There will be a referendum which could-—
Mr. Chrétien: While the War Measures Act may have led to
abuses in I970, if we had had at that time a charter of rights
we would not have witnessed all those abuses, because any
person arrested would have appeared immediately before the
courts. The charter of rights will have fundamental effects and
we will discuss that in committee when the official opposition
will no longer be afraid to go-
An hon. Member: They are afraid.
Mr. Chrétien: Instead of showing those ugly scarecrows, I
urge the Leader of the Opposition to come and ask those
questions in committee, because those questions will be
answered and we will say to him that the War Measures Act
will be much more moderated by the entrenchment of a
charter of rights in the constitution.
Mr. Speaker, in order to accept the formula they suggest it
would require first that the fundamental rights of Canadians
be entrenched in the constitution; otherwise, if we wanted a
charter of rights for all Canadians some provinces might opt
out. As a result some Canadian citizens would have more
rights than others and that is why the proposed formula could
be accepted if we had a charter of rights, if the power sharing
had already been definitely determined in the minds of partici-
pants, but now we are putting the cart before the horse. We do
not have the agreement of provinces. We therefore have a very
rigid formula because there can be no responsible federal
government. Unless the vision of the Prime Minister at the
time is that of a kind of community of communities where the
provinces will always get a yes, where the federal government
will be the flunkey, the messenger who will deliver to the
provinces anything they want, or unless we have a Prime
Minister, a leader of the Canadian government who is anxious
to ensure the equality of Canadian citizens, who is anxious to
share Canada‘s wealth. I noticed this afternoon that the
Leader of the Opposition never mentioned equalization. Is it
not important any more’? Does it not count?
Let us suppose now that equalization were not enshrined in
the constitution, that we want to include it and that rich
provinces opt out. We shall have to collect money from the
poor to give to the poor. This is the amending formula of the
opposition leader?
If the rights are already enshrined in the constitution there
is no problem, but this formula should be extremely rigid in its
nature as, in such circumstances, a federal government would
not proceed through constitutional amendment if it were to
realize that some provinces want to withdraw from the consti-
tutional amendment. And then that right of veto would turn
into the same strait-jacket we have been wearing for 53 years,
the patriation of the constitution.
So I am pleased to say that today the Leader of the
Opposition tries to jump in with us and that he now supports
the patriation of the constitution. Under the cover of a sup-
posed agreement he has put forth an amending formula which
was never agreed to by the provinces.
Mr. La Salle: It is the majority. We have always supported
the government; we simply disagree about methods.
Mr. Chrétien: I arn happy to hear that! It is unilateral,
hurrah! I am happy to hear that the hon. member for Joliette
is for unilateral patriation of the constitution. In addition,
what the Leader of the Opposition is suggesting is that we
should impose an amending formula right now; on the other
hand, we on this side of the House already have a provisional
amending formula allowing the provinces to agree; if they find
a good formula, we can then incorporate it in the constitution,
here, in Canada. That is because we do not want to impose a
formula upon the provinces. We say we will give the provinces
another two years to agree. If they can come to an agreement
in two weeks, so much the better. And if the amending
formula is not acceptable to the federal government-
Mr. La Salle: I have never said anything of the kind.
Mr. Chrétien: If the amending formula proposed by the
provinces is seen by this House as not acceptable——
Mr. Clark: No, by a government using closure.
Mr. Chrétien: I will come back to that if I have the time. I
do not understand the Leader of the Opposition. I am anxious
to go to the committee to respond to all of their questions, but
they do not want to see me. The committee need not only sit ll’l
the afternoon and evening. It can sit in the morning, afternoon,
and all evening.
Mr. Clark: Will it travel’?
Mr. Chrétien: We are the Parliament. We do not want a
road show. We want the people of Canada to talk through
their elected representatives.

October 22, I980 COMMONS
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): Order, please. The usual
courtesy was extended to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr.
Clark) and the Leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr.
Broadbent). It should now be granted to the Minister of
Justice (Mr. Chrétien).
Mr. Chrétien: If the Vancouver formula is so good, what
about all the flaws which the Leader of the NDP spoke about
earlier? It is a kind of checkerboard formula for a constitution
in Canada. If it is so good, let us have the premiers agree to it
and make their recommendations to us. If the federal Parlia-
ment does not like it, who will decide? It will be the people of
Canada who will decide.

Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: I am not embarrassed by that. I do think that
sometimes our priorities as national politicians cannot and
should not be the priorities of the premiers, because we have
different jurisdictions If you are a premier it is natural that
you defend what you think are your local interests, but we
national politicians sometimes have to become the arbitrators
of the different aspirations to make sure that the wealth of
Canada will be shared, and to make sure that the citizens of
Canada will have the same rights.
Mr. Clark: Except the right to speak in Parliament.
Mr. Chrétien: That is our national responsibility, and if we
have a fundamental disagreement about the amending for-
mula, the people of Canada will decide what is wrong with it. I
have con?dence in the people of Canada. We are going into
committee. We have tried to make our resolution the best
Mr. Clark: Ha!
Mr. Chrétien: Yes. I have been listening to the speeches of
hon. members opposite for weeks. None of the hon. members
opposite has spoken about the charter of rights.
Mr. Crombie: Oh!
Mr. Chrétien: Yes, the hon. member asked a question about
it. I told him to come to the committee. I did not listen to the
hon. member’s speech. I am sorry, but we are going to the
committee, and we will reply to those questions. The hon.
member raised a question about the possibility of not having
affirmative actions, and in our charter of rights there is the
possibility of affirmative actions, so this problem does not
exist. It is good that the hon. member raised the question. It
was a valid question, but it is in committee that we can deal
with it, so let us go to committee. That is the whole point.
Why do we have this diversion today‘! Now hon. members
opposite will get up and say that we did not debate the
constitution today. We have debated it for days and days. In
order to waste time there was question of privilege after
question of privilege. Some took a whole day, rather than
The Constitution
debate. Those subjects were not created by us. They were just
raised to gain time. We are going to the committee. We will
listen to hon. members there.
Mr. Clark: Then you will cut it off by closure there too.
Mr. Chrétien: Mr. Speaker, the people of Canada want us to
make up our minds. They are absolutely fed up with debate.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: The people of Canada want to know where
hon. members opposite stand.
Mr. Clark: I stand for having the constitution home today.
Mr. Chrétieu: They do not want the double~barrelled type of
standing that we are for and against at the same time. Hon.
members opposite should make up their minds.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: We know where we are going. I think that
this tactic of diversion this afternoon will be voted down.
Mr. Clark: You are going to Westminster to hide out.
Mr. Chrétien: We will vote to go to committee. We hope to
have a decision by the end of the year, and by some time next
year we will have a Canadian constitution which at last will
have broken the deadlock forever.
Mr. Clark: You won’t have a country next year.
Mr. Chrélien: We will have a Canadian constitution which
will be amended in Canada, with a bill of rights which gives a
guarantee to all Canadians that the rights they have
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Chrétien: —will be those of all Canadians, that Canada
is a country which could become mature and endow itself with
the institutions it needs, a country which would be able to
amend its constitution in Canada-
Mr. Clark: For amendments, it is necessary to go to London!
Mr. Chrétien: Since we must go there anyway, we might as
well go, We want a charter of rights. Because it is the only
legal way we can get one just now, that is the way we will
proceed, Mr. Speaker. We have committed ourselves to
changes, decided that we wanted a Canadian constitution,
that we needed to enshrine the linguistic rights of Canadians in
the constitution, as well as both official languages-
Mr. Clark: In England?

3948 COMMONS DEBATES October 22, I980
The Constitution
Mr. Chrétien: -that we needed to protect in the constitu-
tion the rights of Canadians to mobility, non~discrimination
and other basic rights, and we will do it now.
An hon. Member: Who is we?
Mr. Chrétien: The Canadian Parliament. That is the pro-
mise we have made, Mr. Speaker, and that is the promise we
will keep. After 53 years, we will settle the problem once and
or all.
Mr. Clark: That was a disgrace to Parliament, to Quebec
and to Canada.
Mr. Rossiz You are a disgrace.
Mr. Malone: You don’t know your country. You do not
know anything.
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Rossia Go Back to the farm where you belong.
Mr. Malone: Shut up. You don’t know anything.
Mr. Rossi: Go back to the farm.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): Order, please. The hon.
member for Provencher (Mr. Epp).
I-Ion. Jake Epp (Provencher): Mr. Speaker, in speaking in
support of the resolution before us, and after the speech of the
Minister of Justice (Mr. Chrétien), I would like to get back to
the realities. I think at times the minister went well beyond the
scope of reality and was also caught up by his own rhetoric
and histrionics.
An hon. Member: A fanatic, a Hitler.
Mr. Epp: I think it is important that we take a look at the
elements of the resolution as well as what has brought this
Parliament and Canadians to this position.
I want to spend just a little time on the speech of the
Minister of Justice, The minister put into question whether
there was agreement between the premiers on the Vancouver
consensus. He knows very well, as he co-chaired a committee,
that a consensus developed during the summer on the Vancou-
ver consensus. Neither the minister nor the Leader of the NDP
(Mr, Broadbent) has attacked the Vancouver consensus per se.
What they have really said is that there are ?aws in that
consensus or formula. I think the minister wants to be fair and
objective about this, so if he takes a look at his package and
his proposed resolution, he should agree that the same criti-
cism can be made.
There are members of the minister’s own caucus who object
seriously to clause 4l. There are members of the New Demo-
cratic Party who object to clause 41. There are premiers who
object to clause 41, but we have not even mentioned, to this
point, the abhorrence of clause 42. If the minister is a fair-
minded person, surely he does not want to say today in this
House that his formula suddenly has more support or more
strength because one government supports it, his, and that is
the only government which supports it in that sense because
the premier of Ontario, for instance, as recently as the Tues-
day on which the premiers met in Toronto, said that while
Ontario had traditionally supported either the Victoria or
Victoria-modified, he could now see the validity of the Van-
couver consensus. Why? It is very simple.
It is because he has realized, as a person who is looking at
the country and the need to make it work, that he was seeing
that the Vancouver consensus fundamentally retained the prin-
ciple that the provinces are equal entities and that we do not
have class A provinces, class B provinces and class C prov-
inces. My hon. colleague, the hon. member for Malpeque (Mr.
Gass), asked where Prince Edward Island is in our formula. Is
Prince Edward Island written off? Does Prince Edward Island
not exist‘? Does the minister not care‘?
The minister says today that we should not accept the
formula the premiers agreed to. He is saying that his is better.
Why? His actually eliminates Canadians totally. That is what
the minister is saying to us.
I know the Minister of Justice quite well. He said that he
has faith in the Canadian people, So do I. If that is the case,
no matter what the minister’s objections have been throughout
the summer of negotiations-or today for that matter–why
does he object to the people of Canada, through their elected
representatives here in Parliament and their premiers who are
elected in their respective provinces, making all future amend-
ments to the constitution? Why does the minister insist it be
done in Britain rather than in Canada‘? Why does the minister
have more faith in Westminster than he has in this House, the
legislatures and the premiers? That is the question he must
answer, because under the government’s package there is no
question that the British parliament is being asked to amend
the constitution under an amending formula to which all or no
other amendments can ever be brought to bear again. The
government wants to bootleg through Britain an amendment in
a formula which will never be used again or cannot be used by
anyone else. That is what the government is asking Canadians
and this Parliament to do.
The Minister of Justice also says he is interested in fair play.
So am I, and I sincerely believe that he is that kind of person,
but if that is the case, if we look at language rights in the
package he has introduced, the proposed resolution, what he is
doing for all time is making immigrants who move to the
province of Quebec second-class citizens in terms of education
and minority language rights. What they are doing is
entrcnching sections of Bill l0l. He said today on the floor of
the House that he is in favour of fair play. That is exactly
what they are doing in that package. He mentioned, for
example, that the War Measures Act cannot be used again
under the bill of rights which is included in the proposed
resolution. What about the emergency power? Can they not
invoke the emergency powers and then come in with the War
Measures Act?

October 22, I980 COMMONS
Q (I630)
An hon. Member: The truth would be helpful.
Mr. Epp: You see, Mr. Speaker, these are the realities. I
know why the Minister of Justice holds his views firmly, and I
do not object to that, but it is important for the people of
Canada, looking at this debate at this period of time, that we
also look at the facts. I think the Minister of Justice will admit
that what I am putting on the floor of the House is, in fact, the
matter of the way in which the constitution will operate.
Additionally, we are facing this day a closure motion at a
period of time when the government has had more speakers in
this debate than the official opposition.
An hon. Member: That is not an argument.
Mr. Epp: I hear that that is not an argument. In other
words, what the member, I suppose, is saying is that you could
just have government members speaking. Let me convince
members opposite of the accuracy of my contention. I shall
quote from 3732 of Hansard of October 16.
On that occasion the Prime Minister said:
“The Speaker has asked that Parliament return on Monday to begin debate on
that resolution. Every member of Parliament from every corner of this land is
asked to participate in this historic ac\.“
Now, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), in
his television address of that Thursday, wanted every member
to participate. And yet we face closure today. At present there
have been 21 Conservative speakers who took part in the
debate. Those are the facts. I ask members of the government:
are you sincere when you say that closure is justified at this
stage when you yourselves have had more speakers‘!
The only conclusion to which I can come is that the Prime
Minister has no use for federal-provincial conferences, for the
premiers or for the provincial legislatures. The Minister of the
Environment (Mr. Roberts) says that federal-provincial con-
ferences are a bother and should be done away with. And now
it is the parliamentary debate which is being curtailed. How
many members have said that this House should debate this
resolution? Yet now we face closure. We face closure even
before we go to committee, and the committee is faced with
closure on December 9.
Some hon. Members: Shame.
Mr. Epp: The very memos talk about closure and the
negative effect it would have on the House and in the country.
The recommendation is in there provisionally at this time,
closure of this debate on the Constitution of Canada and the
fundamental laws of Canada cannot and should not be used.
Putting it in another way, we can see this government, because
of its past actions and its negative attitudes toward Parlia-
ment, bringing in closure. We have the NDP, those great
defenders of democracy! Did you hear so much as a peep today
that they object to closure?
An hon. Member: Not a word.
The Constitution
Mr. Epp: Not a word. The hon. member for Winnipeg
North Centre (Mr. Knowles) sits mute. He will prostrate
himself in front of the Liberals, his present colleagues, and will
accept closure in the House and closure in committee.
We have had ten days of debate, and they say closure. I can
hardly fathom that the NDP would accept the mess of potage
or, as somebody has described it, the mess of potash, that they
have received. One thing which I thought I would never see is
notice given immediately after a closure motion, that the
Leader of the NDP would rise. We heard him give a speech
and never object to closure. That is what we saw today. My
good friend from Saskatchewan says, “wait”. I know they feel
uneasy because of the sweetheart deal and because the premier
of Saskatchewan today rejected it. He kept it open, but he
certainly does not like the deal.
The point is that what we have before us here today is
simply a fair accompli by the government using its majority
and applying closure, and total acquiescence by the NDP.
For example, there is the matter of resources. The NDP and
the Liberals now say there is a guarantee. If you look at the
first clause in the Prime Minister‘s letter, why do you need a
guarantee on resources’? This right is guaranteed in the consti-
tution. Section I09 guarantees non-renewable resources, and
section 92.5 guarantees it for the provinces, and the British
North America Act amendments of 1930 guarantee it for the
three prairie provinces. Who brought the question in doubt?
Who questions ownership of resources? It was this Prime
Minister. He brought it in doubt. The provinces did not have
that doubt, but this Prime Minister has always tried to smug-
gle in the notion that the provinces should not own the
resources. He has used his powers as the Prime Minister to
raise doubts in the minds of Canadians. That very doubt today
has caused a division which we see in the country. That is the
legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau right now. That division is his
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
An hon. Member: At least we win elections.
Mr. Epp: They might win elections, but what is happening
to the country?
An hon. Member: You win elections and ruin the country.
Mr. Epp: They are jocular about it, but let me be quite
serious about it. What is happening in western Canada is that
western Canadians feel deeply alienated right now. They are
as good Canadians as any one of you opposite, and they want
to stay in the country. There is an old adage: not only must
justice be done, it must appear to be done. Right now the
appearance of justice as the west sees it is gone. That is the
reality. I say to the members very seriously: at your own peril
and at the peril of the country you ignore that fact.
In terms of the Vancouver formula there is a point which I
wish to make—I mentioned it earlier-that is, that the princi-
ple that the provinces are equal must be maintained in any
amending formula. That is not the case in the Victoria formula

1)EBATEs October 22, 1980
The Constitution
or in the Victoria modified formula, or in the present package
which the government has put before us. As a person coming
from a province with a population of about one million people,
I recognize the fact that population should be taken as a factor
when there is an amendment. There is no argument with that,
and that population factor is considered as the resolution
passes through the House. It is also recognized to some degree
in the other place where, while representation is on the basis of
regions, we also recognize the population reality there, But
once they have a resolution through both Houses of Parlia-
ment and have recognized the population reality, surely they
cannot once again classify provinces on the basis of population,
making some more equal than others, dealing one in and
dealing one out, because then they will not have a mosaic, a
country, a federation. It is not a unitary state yet, and we do
not intend to let them make it one.
g (mo)
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Epp: There is one other point. When the first ministers
met, there were certain areas they thought should be changed.
I do not have the time today to go into the areas of opting in
and opting out, but they were restricted. I will just give one for
the benefit of the Canadian public. One opting-out section was
that if a boundary of a province was to be changed or if its
resources were affected, that province could opt out. I think
that is only natural and normal. It is becoming clear today
that under section 42 the resources of the provinces, no matter
what guarantees are in the letter dated October 21 from the
Prime Minister to the Leader of the New Democratic Party
can be taken way; they can be taken away under section 42.
Mr. Chrétien: They cannot.
Mr. Clark: Of course they can, absolutely.
Mr. Epp: They can be taken away. Throughout this debate
we have been saying that on section 42, and we have asked the
Prime Minister if he will only use section 42 as a one-time only
deadlock breaking device. He never gives us that assurance.
He wants that cudgel, he wants that power.
Mr. Clark: To create the deadlock and then use a
Mr. Chrétien: That is not true.
Mr. Epp: Perhaps I should give the gentleman opposite a
simple lesson in political science. The premiers and the mem-
bers of their ten legislatures have been elected by the people as
well. They have some legitimacy, even though the government
might not want to recognize that,
Mr. Chrétien: We have some too.
Mr. Epp: That point should be kept in mind. One additional
matter which I did not think after ten days of debate would
have to be mentioned is the matter of patriation. But I must
mention it to both my Liberal colleagues and members of the
media. I believe I am a person of some patience, but even as
late as last night the press mentioned that suddenly we are in
favour of patriation because of the resolution before us. My
leader said in the opening speech of this debate that we want
patriation, we want it now, and we want our amendments here
in Canada.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Epp: It was in the communique. No matter what the
arguments of the Liberals might be in terms of the proposals
we put forward, they should not any longer leave, either
directly or inferentially, the big myth that we are opposed to
patriation. That is the fact. They should stay with the truth,
and they know that is the truth. But they like always to shade
it. If it helps their argument, they shade it a bit. They should
not shade it again.
It makes eminently good sense that the constitution be
brought back. The argument put forward by the Minister of
Justice that we would not have a constitution, that we would
be naked-I would take it seriously if I knew he had. But he
himself did not take it seriously. Amendments should be made
in Canada. We want a made-in-Canada constitution. I believe
that is our responsibility. Let us patriate it. The formula works
if we want to make it work and do it at home.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. D. M. Collenette (Parliamentary Secretary to Presi-
dent of the Privy Council): Mr. Speaker, I am quite happy to
participate in the debate this afternoon. I want to deal with the
procedural aspect of the motion before us, because I think a
case could be made that this very supply motion is not in
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Collenette: Rather than challenge the propriety of this
motion and be accused of denying the opposition its right to
speak, we have not done that. But if Mr. Speaker consults the
precedents, the Standing Orders, and citation 481 of Beau-
chesne‘s, for example, he will see that we should not be
discussing this matter because the substance of the matter is
still before us in motion No. 18. Citation 481 indicates quite
clearly that the similarity of the subject matter of an opposi-
tion motion cannot prejudice in any way the progress of a bill
under discussion which deals with approximately the same
Some hon. Members: What bill?
Mr. Collenette: If the precedents were looked up, I suggest
that would also extend to the motion before the House. Ijtl?l
wanted to raise that in passing, because we are being
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Collenette: We are being generous.

October 22, 1980 COMMONS
Some hon. Members: Not true.
Mr. Collenette: We know the position in which the of?cial
opposition has found itself in this debate. They have no
position. In fact the last three weeks has been one exercise of
obstruction on behalf of the official opposition in this House of
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Collenette: They have the audacity to come here with a
supply motion on their allotted day and ask us to consider a
complicated matter contained in the resolution, that is, patria-
tion with the Vancouver formula. They want discussions and a
judgment of this House within three hours this afternoon, yet
they plead, they writhe for time to discuss motion No. l8 in
committee. They want the committee extended, they want the
reporting of the committee and the other debate extended.
What it really amounts to is one rule for the Tories, and one
rule for the rest. That is what we have before us this afternoon,
an exceedingly mischievous motion.
Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): What a distortion.
Mr. Collenette: I can see the fine hands of the hon. member
for Nepean-Carleton (Mr. Baker) and the hon. member for
Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) in the drafting of this motion. It is
mischief, or perhaps it is a clear misunderstanding of the rules.
Under Standing Order 58(9), the hon. member for Nepean-
Carleton and his colleagues know full well that this is a matter
of confidence. If the members on this side of the House were
disposed to agree with that motion, and if we voted with the
official Opposition—
Mr. Baker (Nepeau-Carleton): We would have a new
Mr. Collenette: we would not have a government.
An hon. Member: We have not got one now.
Mr. Collenette: This is a matter of con?dence and they
know it. The subject matter of the motion does not matter, it
does not matter how laudable it is.
Mr. Clark: Ask Lester Pearson.
Mr. Collenettez There may be laudable points in the argu-
ments brought out as a result of this motion, but we are
imprisoned with the Standing Orders of this House,
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Collenette: If we voted with the opposition, there would
not be a government; there would be an election.
Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): I lower my eyes.
Mr. Collenette: I put that down to a clear misunderstanding
of the rules because, if it is not, it is absolute, pure, unmitigat-
ed mischief.
Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): Smile, David.
The Constitution
Mr. Collenette: Given what has happened in the last three
weeks, we could probably say to the official opposition—I see
the hon. member for Nepean-Carleton making rude faces.
Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): I am laughing.
Mr. Collenette: It does not behoove him well, a man of his
stature as the House leader of the official opposition to be
making smirks and deriding the business of this House. Shame
on hirn for that.
Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a
point or order. The hon. member can indulge in all the
unparliamentary language he wishes, but I was not making
rude faces, unless my friend considers a smile of derision at his
fatuous argument a rude face.
n (1650) V
Mr. Collenette: Mr. Speaker, I need not comment on the
supercilious intervention of the hon. member for Ncpean-
Carleton. Obviously the strength of our arguments are getting
to that side and I think that the strength of our case, as it has
been presented in the last few weeks, has obviously been
unsettling to them. That is why the opposition leader sits in his
place wriggling, writhing and red-faced, heckling the Minister
of Justice (Mr. Chrétien) and the hon. member for Oshawa
(Mr. Broadbent). He knows he is in an impossible position.
Another reason why this very motion is mischievous-»
Mr. Munro (Esquimalt-Saanich): Mischievous!
Mr. Collenettez However you pronounce it in Victoria or
Esquimalt-Saanich—I am quite ?exible on my English
But, Mr. Speaker, if the government votes with the official
opposition on this motion, as I stated, the government ceases to
exist, Parliament is dissolved, and there is an election. If we
vote against their motion this afternoon, as we will, I do not
think hon. members opposite realize what will happen. It
precludes the special joint committee from dealing with the
substance of this argument at a later date. And so I question
their sincerity, I question their motives. The Leader of the
Opposition (Mr. Clark) went on about the so-called Vancouver
consensus. He is bluf?ng, because if he were really serious he
would not bring this motion before us this afternoon, the very
vote against which will preclude comment on it or even
acceptance of that later in the debate. I say that the arguments
of the Leader of the Opposition, if not mischievous are dishon-
est-—and I say the arguments are dishonest-and he is playing
games with this House. It is a pure example of Tory trickery.
Mr. Baker (Nepeau-Carleton): You’re splitting hairs.
Mr. Collenette: Mr. Speaker, the last three weeks have been
marked by very passionate and intellectual debate from all
sides. There have been some outstanding interventions—and I
have been in the House most of the time—from all sides.
Mr. Paproski: Now you cut them off.

DEBATES October 22, I980
The Constitution
Mr. Collenette: I should say, in countering the incorrect
arguments of the opposition, that 25 members from the other
side have spoken. Twenty-five members from their side and
only 22 from this side. So when you want to talk about the
rights of Parliament and the rights of the opposition, it is in
the record that there have been more interventions from the
other side.
Mr. Malone: You are including the NDP.
Mr. Collenette: Of course we are including the NDP. I
cannot understand the arrogance of the Conservative party
which likes to protect the rights of the opposition, deriding a
legitimate opposition party, that is, the New Democratic
Party. They have a right to speak. Perhaps the Tories do not
think so, but we do.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Collenette: I should point out that the speeches from
the NDP have not been overly favourable, there have been
criticisms, but to their credit they have decided to work within
the parliamentary system. The official opposition, devoid of a
substantive position on the whole constitutional debate, have
chosen to obstruct this House in a wilful manner»-a wilful
manner, and I say that quite clearly.
The spurious questions of privilege that we have heard, the
red herrings we have been subjected to, I think have tested the
very fairness and the graciousness of the Chair. I think the
Conservative party in this House has brought Parliament to a
level at which it has not been for many years. That is a shame,
a terrible shame on them that they are not discharging their
obligations as a constructive opposition, something they
pledged to be when this session reconvened.
I remember the words of the hon. member for Nepean-
Carleton when he said that we would not have mindless
opposition—that they would not be guilty of mindless opposi-
tion. Look at Hansard, look at the televised debates. If there is
an example of mindless opposition greater than the one which
we have sat through during the last three weeks, then I wish to
be shown it. We have had obstruction, we have had trickery,
and now, this afternoon in this I-louse, the government has
said, through the motion of the President of the Privy Council
(Mr. Pinard), that members of this House and the Canadian
public will not put up with that kind of obstruction any longer.
The people of Canada want us to get on with budgetary
matters. They want us to get on with other pressing issues
dealing with energy, the Bank Act, and the 25 other bills on
the order paper. They do not want to see the time of this
House wasted by the manipulative tactics of the of?cial oppo-
sition, the schemers over there, who must sit by candlelight
every night with their rulebooks trying to find ways to impede
the debate.
We have come to the position where tomorrow night the
question will be put. But I should say, contrary to what the
official opposition are spreading, the falsehoods that they are
spreading throughout the country, that the debate is not
terminating. All that is happening is that the motion before us
to strike a special committee to look into the resolution, and
bill which accompanies the resolution, shall be voted upon. All
we are saying is that phase of the debate will be over. There
will be ample time in committee. We have had many excellent
interventions, and I think of the one made by the hon. member
for Rosedale (Mr. Crombie)—I think the Minister of Justice
acknowledged his participation a little earlier—in which he
brought out a legitimate question. I think of some of the
legitimate questions asked by the hon. member for Saskatoon
West (Mr. Hnatyshyn) who, incidentally, has not spoken in
this debate. I wonder where he stands on this matter. He has
asked some legitimate questions during question period.
Surely, Mr. Speaker, the forum for answering those questions
is in the committee.
We want all members of the House and members from the
other place to have as much time as possible to grapple with
the intricacies, the technicalities, and the substance of the
draft constitution of Canada act.
My time is fast coming to a close, Mr. Speaker.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Collenette: I can tell by the agitation over on the other
side that they recognize the impossibility of their position.
They know that the federal Conservative party of Canada, the
official opposition, is the subject of ridicule from one coast to
the other. We know that the numbers supporting their argu-
ment are declining. Only five provinces are supporting their
arguments. There has been reassessment by the government of
Saskatchewan. Their friend from New Brunswick, even their
friend in Nova Scotia, doesn’t go along with court action and
is desperately trying to put some distance between his govern-
ment and the irresponsibility of his federal cousins.
What we see is a desperate party, led by desperate people
who wish to obstruct and impede the business of this House,
who want to deny the people of Canada a charter of rights, a
protection of fundamental liberty, who want to deny the people
of Canada the self-respect of having at once, at last, our own
constitution, one that can be amended in Canada. Mr. Speak-
er, that is what the official opposition is doing in playing its
game of delay and obstruction. The people of Canada are
recognizing this, and I have no compunction whatsoever in
standing up in support of the motion put forward by the
President of the Privy Council.
It is time this House got on with its business, got on with the
business of the constitution, and I submit, in closing, that the
motion before us this afternoon is either a piece of naivete-
and that could very well be the case, knowing the members on
the other side—or another example of Tory deception and
Tory trickery.
Q (I700)
Hon. David Crombie (Rosedale): Mr. Speaker, first of all I
would like, on a formal basis, to urge the House to support the
motion which is now before us. If hon. members are interested
in having the constitution brought home quickly, with consen-

October 22, I980 COMMONS
sus, and having the constitution brought home quickly with
consensus and the opportunity to have Canadians make altera-
tions, then that is why they should support this motion.
I had an opportunity the other day to deal with some of the
matters which concern me about the government’s position on
the question of the constitution. The Minister of Justice (Mr.
Chrétien) had not had an opportunity to review my remarks,
and he indicated an interest. I would like to offer some of those
remarks now because I think they bear on the acceptability of
the motion before us.
It has become increasingly clear~and I think it is why the
government is introducing closure—to the people of Canada
that what is before them and this Parliament is not merely the
bringing of the constitution home from Britain. If that were
the case, then everybody here would support the motion, and
that should not go unmarked. If that is all that we are talking
about, the motion could be adopted today.
However, if we are on about something other than bringing
the constitution home, then there are some problems, I think,
of which Canadians are becoming increasingly aware. I want
to speak about those problems. There are some Canadians who
wonder why, given the budget of the Minister of State for
Multiculturalism (Mr, Fleming) to explain a simple matter of
advertising and patriotism, some provinces are opposed.
Why is it that six provinces are opposed to the proposal, two
support it, and two are not sure? Why are six provinces
opposed? First of all, it is because the whole thing is being
imposed upon them. The constitution of this country was
obtained by provincial consensus, and that is the way in which
we operate. That system is being changed by imposition.
Second, it creates for some provinces a second-class status.
That is very important. Is there a member in this House who
would like to stand up and say honestly to their constituents,
“I am willing to accept that my province, when it comes to
constitutional amendments, is second-class”? That is what the
government’s resolution says. That is what the members of the
Liberal party and now my friends in the New Democratic
Party are willing to accept, and it is also why a number of
people are not willing to accept it, because it creates some
provinces more equal than others.
The third thing was stated earlier by the hon. member for
Yorkton~Melville (Mr. Nystrom), who said that the question
of equalization between provinces is now being used by this
resolution to divide the provinces.
Fourth, the problem of natural resources, particularly as it
affects the east coast and the west, is not adequately dealt with
in this resolution. These are not points which I have made up.
Indeed, members of my party and my leader have spoken well
on all of these points.
Let us check these points again. The reasons why the
provinces are opposed to the constitutional changes proposed
by the government are: one, that it is being imposed; two, that
it creates second-class provinces; three, that it changes and
destroys in large measure the good will created by the equali-
zation formula; and fourth, it continues to make uncertain the
The Constitution
opportunity of the provinces to look after themselves in rela-
tion to the natural resources, either offshore or within their
land boundaries. Those are the reasons.
The second reason why more and more people are becoming
concerned lies exactly in the field upon which the Minister of
Justice decided to speak loudly. I say loudly because he almost
shook the benches over here, not with the wisdom of his
remarks, but with their sheer volume. I do not blame him
because there is an old saw “if your arguments are weak, shout
Mr. LeBlanc: Your own leader shouted him down.
Mr. Crombie: I think it is fair to say that there are many
people who have difficulties with the question of the charter of
rights which are good and legitimate. My great difficulty is
that there are many people on the government side who simply
say, “Here is the charter of rights; it is good for you, take it
like a pill”. I would like to offer eight problems which have
been raised to me by people in this country who represent
groups in this country that are wronged and need to be dealt
with before we adopt any charter of rights. They are not minor
First of all, the charter of rights as proposed by the govern-
ment changes our understanding of where our rights come
from. The fundamental philosophical basis for the rights which
are being offered in the government’s proposal says that they
will be guaranteed by the constitution. It assumes that our
rights come from government. Our rights do not come from
government, and they never have come from government. Our
rights come from ancient statutes, laws and government pro-
cesses of 1,000 years, and certainly from the Quebec Act of
1774. No government, particularly this government, has the
right to arrogate to themselves that they give Canadians
rights. It can destroy or disturb those rights, but it does not
give those rights. They belong to Canadians; they belong to us.
The government’s job is to protect those rights.
The second problem with the charter of rights deals with the
War Measures Act and the Emergency Powers Act. If one
looks at the debates in the House of Commons from I947 to
1950 when it dealt with the charter of human rights from the
United Nations, and the debates in 1961 when it dealt with the
Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker’s bill of rights, there were
Liberal members on both occasions who argued that it was
absolutely essential to change the War Measures Act and the
Emergency Powers Act and to change the Criminal Code so
that it could deal with insurrection and so that the War
Measures Act would not be operative in peacetime. It is a good
principle and a good thought.
The Criminal Code should deal with this matter to alleviate
the constant threat of the War Measures Act and the Emer-
gency Powers Act. The government knows this, but it does not
want to deal with the matter because it upsets the advertising
campaign. If it really wants to do something, then it should
make this change.
The third problem is language. Much of what we have done
here in the last couple of weeks and, indeed, in the last number

DEBATES October 22, 1980
The Constitution
of months is in response to the referendum in Quebec. I
suggest that as the message slowly gets through to the people
who speak either language in the province of Quebec, they will
become more and more concerned about what is in the govern-
ment‘s constitutional proposal. Indeed, I would direct all mem~
bers and anyone who is really interested in rights as a question
of rights, not as a question of politics, to pick up a copy of the
October I4 Le Devoir and read an article written by Mr.
Robert Decary. In this article he goes through all 59 sections
of the proposal and takes the sections which are related to the
question of the charter of rights and points out the difficulties.
He concludes that if the proposal is adopted the province of
Quebec will rue the day.
When it comes to the question of rights, we in this country
will have to face the reality in the not-too-distant future, one
which is avoided in the government’s proposal, that the coun-
try must operate on the basis of equality, a principle which
existed between the two founding groups. That principle is not
in the proposal, and that is why the three political parties in
the province of Quebec oppose it.
The fourth problem is that people are beginning to wonder
why representatives of native groups appear at 6.30 and eleven
o’clock in the news on their television sets, and are opposed to
this proposal. How can it be when the Minister of State for
Multiculturalism and the Minister of Justice are saying that it
is a wonderful proposal‘? What are the Indians complaining
about? It has to do with section 6 and section I5, their
inability to determine what will happen to their land claims,
whether or not there will continue to be any rights or even the
possibility of any rights for Métis and non-status Indians, and
the effect of that mobility clause in relation to the reservations.
Q (l7IU)
I hear a faint voice from Indian women on this matter.
Canada has been brought before the Human Rights Commis-
sion at the United Nations because the government will not act
to give ?rst-class status to native women. They have wanted to
change the Indian Act for years. It is their view that the
adoption of the government’s charter of rights will forever
place them in a second-class position. That is why native
people in this country are opposed to the government’s consti-
tutional measures.
Fifth, Mr, Speaker, for the ?rst time in the history of this
country we have created two classes of immigrant. It is never
much fun to be an immigrant, but there was always one saving
factor—everyone was the same. When people arrived here
without being able to speak the language and wanted to get
ahead, they knew one thing for sure-—~that they were all in the
same boat. That is not true any more. Section 23 creates two
kinds of immigrant, and that is not acceptable. It is a mockery
to suggest that somehow the same rights are guaranteed to all
Canadians. It isjust not true.
Sixth—-and I raised this just the other day in a question,
because it is a serious matter—if we adopt the charter of
rights as it currently exists in the government proposal, we will
run into the same problem that the United States have been
coping with for the last 25 years; that is, they increasingly
have to phrase their legislation to take into consideration
problems that are raised by the courts.
Just the other day I mentioned the Bakke case. In June,
1978, the Supreme Court of the United States——and I think
quite rightly-ruled that a black student should not have
preference over a white student merely because there was an
affirmative action program in the University of California.
This has thrown into jeopardy and doubt many social pro-
grams, particularly af?rmative action programs, in the United
States. Anyone who does not believe that can call the Health
Education and Welfare Department in Washington in the
United States and ask what the effect of the Bakke case was
on the development of policy in relation to social programs. By
their very nature, Mr. Speaker, social programs are
We have had affirmative action programs for years north of
60, without calling them that, in relation to the hiring of native
people. We do not know what is going to happen to those
programs. I am not raising idle fears or threats, Mr. Speaker.
The problem is real and it must be dealt with before we adopt
the principle.
In that connection, Mr. Speaker, when it comes to social
programs, when it comes to legal rights, non-discriminatory
rights, democratic rights and human rights, there is going to
be a massive shift of power to the courts, as the hon. member
for Cambridge (Mr. Speyer) said the other day. In all sinceri~
ty, I say that may not be an unfair or bad thing, but it must be
understood that it is change. It cannot be assumed that there is
not going to be a change. We will not become more Canadian
as a consequence; we will become more American.
An hon. Member: That is what he always wanted.
Mr. Crombie: It rankles me to hear the nonsense spoken on
the other side when they claim that somehow they are being
more Canadian. There is nothing more Canadian than the
understanding that the common law protects our rights and
that ultimately people operating on the principle of consensus
will arrive at appropriate opinions.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Crombie: That is the Canadian system, but the charter
of rights changes that. Some people may like the change, but it
cannot be denied that it is just that—a change. That is why
people are saying, “Ah, I see. We are now going to have to
worry about what the Supreme Court says.” That means we
may have to ?nd another way to get judges. In the United
States, where judges make more law than ours do, they have
made things more democratic by electing judges. We have not
felt the necessity to do that. Indeed, we have always felt that
our judicial system was superior because we do not elect our
law. If we are going to hand judges the power to make law for
people, then we will have to ?nd a better way—-as the United
States had to—to obtain judges.

October 22, I980 COMMONS
On this sixth point with respect to the charter of rights, I
say that we are taking a giant step toward the Americanize-
tion of this country. That bothers me, particularly when it is
done in the name of Canadianism.
Mr. Clark: True Brit.
Mr. Crombie: Yes, using the British to do it.
l come to my seventh point on the charter of rights. On
three occasions the Minister of Justice has suggested that he IS
continuing the work of the late John Diefenbaker. Wow!
An hon. Member: What a perversion.
Mr. Crornhie: I am sure he meant it honestly, but I cannot
think of any notion that is more wrong. In the debates of 1960
and 1961 setting out the views of Mr. Diefenbaker, two things
become very important, and they are very unlike the proposal
put forward by the government. First of all, the Bill of Rights
deals in the same language as the Quebec Act of 1774; it deals
in the same language as the Act of Union in 1841 and in the
same language as the Act of I867-unlike the government’s
resolution. The Canadian tradition is carried through the Bill
of Rights.
Second, the Bill of Rights carries through a right that has
been with us and has in many ways determined our rights and
privileges, and indeed, has expanded rights and privileges for
people. That is, in the enjoyment of property, whether that
property be large or small. Many people in this country spend
a good part of their lives working very hard for the enjoyment
of their property. That is why Mr. Diefenbaker enshrined it in
the Bill of Rights. It is not in this one, Mr. Speaker, and that
bothers me.
l have offered seven or eight example—and there are more,
Mr. Speaker~to explain that there are good and solid reasons
why people have difficulty in merely accepting the view that
“you ought to accept it and swallow it because it is good four
Another reason why people are becoming more aware of the
difficulty involved in going along with the government is that
increasingly we find we are not a country of consensus, not a
country where consent is the operative principle—-we are not
going to entrench any rights that we do not already have but
we are going to be entrenching what we do not have~
bitterness and division.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Crombie: Not one new right is being given by this
government. Not one new right, Mr. Speaker. We should bear
that in mind. The division and discord being brought down on
this country will be with us long after the personal timetables
of some politicians.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Crombie: Mr. Speaker, I am one of those who support
what I referred to as the entrenchment of rights because it
seemed to me that we entrenched the common law years ago.
The Constitution
A few days ago I enumerated them: section 133, language
rights; section 94, the civil code in the province of Quebec;
section 92, property and civil rights; section 51, representation
by population, and section 99, the guarantee of an independent
judiciary. Those things are already in the constitution. They
did not come from this government, however. They came from
Canadians who gave us that legacy ll5 years ago. Those of us
who oppose and have difficulty accepting that charter of rights
and the creation of second-class provinces, for those of us who
are opposed to the division and bitterness that are going to be
entrenched in this country, would like people to know that we
oppose because we honestly feel this way and that it is our
responsibility to oppose it. And oppose it, we will, Mr.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Q U720)
Mrs. Thérese Killens (Saint-Michel): I would like, with
your leave Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to refer to the
constituency which I have the honour to represent. The con-
stituency of Saint-Michel is situated in the northeastern part
of Montreal and covers a small area of about 3.5 miles by 4
miles. The majority of the population is French-speaking, 16
per cent come from Italy, 3 per cent from English-speaking
countries and 2 per cent belong to various other ethnic groups.
They are ?ne people whom I like and know well. I like to tell
them that the most valuable and ful?lling aspect of my
mandate is to serve them. I ?rmly intend to continue to be
their representative in this House, just as before when I was
their commissioner. They have shown their confidence by
electing me four times, twice as commissioner and twice as
federal member.
However, this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak
about the future of our country. Our forefathers have left us a
legacy which Quebeckers have kept by voting No at the
referendum. As did several of my colleagues from Quebec, I
devoted much time, effort and energy to that famous referen-
dum, but our objective was worth the trouble and the
But this stage—~I repeat—this stage of the referendum
which I would not dare term a victory, was only the first step.
Before we begin tearing at each other I suggest hon. members
from both sides of the House should keep in mind the objec~
tives of the constitutional reform. First, the basic rights and
freedoms of Canadians will be entrenched for the first time in
a Canadian charter of rights. Second, in the charter, Canadi-
ans will be assured of the freedom to move across the country
and pursue employment in any province. Third—I am still
dealing with the objectives of the constitutional reform, for
that is what we are here for—the charter will guarantee that
citizens of the English or French language minority in a
province have the right to educate their children in that

DEBATES October 22, I980
The Constitution
language wherever numbers warrant. Fourth, the charter will
recognize the principle of equalization, which involves the
redistribution of wealth among the provinces. Fifth, a ?exible
amending procedure will ensure that all changes to the consti~
tution can be made in Canada. But to those who may ask:
“What about the entrenchment of the division of powers?“ I
will reply, “First things first: before one learns to run, one
must learn to walk.”
True, the proposed resolution needs some adjustment. There
will be things to add to it, some things to suppress perhaps,
and that is why a special joint committee of the House and the
Senate is formed, so that we can all express our views. It is
urgent to revise the federation compact, Mr. Speaker. Indeed,
we find this task difficult, as reflected in the speeches we have
heard in the last few days. The better to understand the
government purpose, one must place this proposed resolution
in its true perspective. And I repeat what has been said
already: patriation will not take away any power from the
provinces, it will only suppress a power held by the British
Parliament and agree we will at last have a truly Canadian
Constitution, providing we agree to get together and show a
spirit of co-operation.
The constitution adopted in I867 does not fulfil our needs
and aspirations any more. It needs immediate revising,
rethinking and rewriting in order for it to meet our new needs
and reality. However, it still contains many things that are
good, things which only need to be renovated and combined
with new elements to create a truly Canadian instrument that
would meet our present needs.
A major part of our constitution is dispersed in a multitude
of statutes, a number of which are very little known to the
Canadian people. And I know the need to go to London cap in
hand for constitutional amendments is a cold shower on the
proudness of very many Canadians, who view this not simply
as an embarrassing subject but a national blemish.
Let us look together at the stages in our evolution. In I931,
Canada’s independence was confirmed by the Statute of West-
minster. In I945 the Supreme Court of Canada became the
court of last resort, and the Canadian Parliament acquired
powers of constitutional amendment, but for areas of provin-
cial jurisdiction. In 1952 we had our ?rst Canadian Governor
General. In I965 we chose our own national flag. This year, in
1930. Parliament adopted a national anthem. The proposed
resolution now before us, Mr. Speaker, is the last stage on the
road to full independence.
On Monday October 6 I was pleased to hear the leader of
the New Democratic Party (Mr. Broadbent) state, and I
It is indeed time to act, and act now, on the Constitution of Canada.
l thank him for it and I know he is sincere, especially after
hearing his remarks this afternoon. The opposition motion now
before us suggests we should select the so-called Vancouver
consensus as the only amending formula. As the Minister of
Justice and Minister of State for Social Development (Mr.
Chrétien) so eloquently explained earlier, that formula would
weaken the central government. I consulted my constituents,
Mr. Speaker, and I received a clear and loud message. They
want me to support a constitution that will re?ect a strong
Canada, and for that reason I support the government’s posi-
tion. This afternoon, when the Minister of Justice and Minis-
ter of State for Social Development, speaking on the motion,
referred to basic rights, I heard the Leader of the Official
Opposition (Mr. Clark) shout:
“What about the War Measures Act?” I would like to tell
the hon. member about the War Measures Act, and anyone in
Canada who wants to hear about it. I am a Quebecker who
lived in Montreal in those days. One has to remember those
things in the context of the time. Bombs were exploding in
mail boxes. I have ?ve children. They took the Metro every
day and on top of each building and inside the Metro there
were people with machine guns. Every night when my children
came home, I got on my knees and thanked the Lord that they
were alive. That is what it was like in Quebec in I970 under
the War Measures Act. It is no wonder that that measure was
right for the time.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Mrs. Killensz Mr. Speaker I would now like to speak for a
few minutes about the two founding peoples of our country
with regard to culture and language. Some 113 years ago,
when English needed protection, because it was the minority
language in Lower Canada, Sir George-Etienne Cartier
acknowledged the fact when he said, “If we introduce before
the provincial legislatures and the imperial government a
resolution for the creation of a central government it will be
our duty to protect equally all ethnic groups and take into
account the interest of each.“ The English language was then
protected in Quebec. Yet as soon as the demographic balance
shifted to the advantage of Anglophones within the country as
a whole, justice and tolerance were forsaken and we have been
living in this state of injustice ever since the birth of the
nation. One must not be surprised then if this is a touchy issue
in Quebec because there are still a great many Quebeckers
with a long memory. To give you an illustration of what l
mean, I will quote Sir John A. Macdonald in an admonition
addressed to his fellow English-speaking citizens. He said this
in 1856, and I quote:
Lea?ng through the directory of Lower Canada public servants, you would be
surprised lo see the supremacy you have in higher positions. Take care that the
French do not discover these facts and begin to denounce them.
In spite of a few mistakes concerning language and the
economy, Confederation has not been a failure. We still speak
French in Quebec. We have developed our own identity and we
have a standard of living that many envy us. Some skeptics

October 22, 1980 COMMONS
will say-—and I unfortunately see too many of them—~that no
one needs Quebeckers and that they can separate if they want
to. To all of them I say, “Come to Quebec, spend one week
around Lake Saint-Jean or the North Shore, spend one week
with one of our farmers, and you will see what it means to eat
in French, to breathe in French and to live in French.” If there
are still people who wonder what French Canadians want, I
can tell them very simply that they ask for two things. If
Canada is his country, the Francophone wants first of all to be
heard in the courts ofjustice in French, from coast to coast. If
Canada is his country, he wants to be able to send his children
to a French school where numbers warrant it.
And if we do not stop hair-splitting about advertising and
polls, we risk missing completely the basic issue of equal rights
for everyone. Many of our villages and cities have already
celebrated their tri-centennial and many can follow their roots
to the beginnings of the colony. These same Canadian roots
said No to separation.
Mr. Speaker, the resolution under consideration will protect
the legitimate, and I insist on the word “legitimate”, and basic
rights of the whole Canadian nation. We must therefore take
advantage of the present crisis to re-think our country and
rebuild it ourselves, otherwise, we shall leave a broken-up
country to our children and grandchildren.
For more than 53 years, Mr. Speaker, we have been clean-
ing up the workings of the constitution. We can no longer
afford to do so. The Fathers of Confederation paid their own
debt ll3 years ago and it is now up to us to pay our debt
towards our country.
Mr. Speaker, my time is running out, but before closing I
would like to tell members on both sides of the House about a
point that I find very important. It concerns section l5 of the
proposed resolution, which deals with the right to non-dis~
crimination. That article lists various categories of people who
should be protected, but I note that the handicapped had been
omitted. I draw that omission to the attention of all hon.
members and take this opportunity to ask for their support
when the special committee of the House tables its preliminary
report, in the very near future. and recommends that the
handicapped be included in the bill of rights.
I close, Mr. Speaker, saying that I recognize that opinions
differ but the objectives of the proposed resolution, those I
enumerated at the start, convince me that our efforts will not
be fruitless, provided we manage all of us to respect our
Canadian tradition and history of justice, loyalty and sharing
for the greater good of all Canadians.
Q (mo)
Hon. James A. McGrath (St. John’s East): Mr, Speaker,
this debate, which has ranged over just about two weeks, has
reached a crucial stage. Indeed I would say that in the history
of the evolution of Canada’s constitution, this will probably,
The Constitution
without question of doubt, be judged by historians as a very
sad day in the history of Canada.
Why do I say that, Mr. Speaker? We were served notice
today that the government intends to invoke the rule of
closure, not the reform kind of closure, if indeed 75C can be
described in that way, which we have under our new rules,
which themselves were brought in by the invocation of closure
in 1968, but as my leader has said, the pipeline kind of closure,
the C. D. Howe kind of closure. It is the kind of closure that
no one ever expected this government to dare use again,
especially on a debate concerning Canada’s constitution.
We had received an invitation, given over the national
networks of this country, by the Prime Minister (Mr. Tru~
deau) when he introduced this measure, that he expected
members from every corner of the country to participate in
this debate. Now, after only two weeks, after less than 20 per
cent of the membership of this House has participated, less
than one in five of us having had a chance to speak, tomorrow
night, appropriately in the dark of night, in the early hours of
the morning, the guillotine is to fall on this very important and
historic debate on Canada’s constitution.
Some hon. Members: Shame!
Mr. McGrath:-Why is the government resorting to the
invocation of closure’! Why are ministers introducing closure
in a debate on which there has been at least one consensus,
namely, that it is a debate historic in its significance. I believe
the reason the government is invoking closure at this stage of
the debate, notwithstanding the fact that the motion before us
calls for this debate to be in committee and back in the House
before December 9, and that in itself is closure, the reason it is
imposing this old-fashioned guillotine of C. D. Howe which
does not provide for debate is because this measure cannot
stand the scrutiny of public debate.
As my colleague has said, the people are catching on.
Therefore it is important to the government, if they want to
control their majority in this House and keep the traditional
Liberal caucus discipline intact, to get this measure out of the
House as quickly as they can. They know that once it gets off
the floor of the House it goes into the relative sanctuary of the
committee, which does not provide for input from all members
of the House, but a relatively small number. It does not
provide for the scrutiny of the television cameras or of the
microphones of the radio and television networks of this
It is well that they would want to get it out of the House.
They know that the longer it stays in the House, the more
embarrassing it is going to be to the New Democratic Party
who, today, sold their souls in support of a measure against
which the hon. member for Yorkton~Melville (Mr. Nystrom)
spoke so eloquently in this House just a few days ago. Yes,
what a price they are paying.
I pity the New Democratic Party. During my parliamentary
career I have had the greatest respect for the party of Tommy
Douglas and J. S. Woodsworth and for its philosophic integri~
ty, but I have lost that respect because today I have seen

DEBATES October 22, 1980
The Constitution
members of the New Democratic Party sell out to the govern—
ment, sell out their friends in Atlantic Canada, sell out their
commitment to the minorities of this country, sell out their
commitments to the native people, and sell out their commit-
ments to the rights of women in this country. That is what we
have witnessed in this House in the past 24 hours, and that, in
my opinion, is also a sad day for Canada.
Q (I740)
Today I had occasion to direct a question to the Minister of
Justice (Mr. Chrétien), for whom I have a great respect both
as a man and as a parliamentarian. My question was prompted
by a concern arising out of the deal between the New Demo-
cratic Party and the government, because I could not quite
believe what I was reading when I read the exchange of letters
between the Leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Broad-
bent) and the Prime Minister. There was nothing in them to
cover the Atlantic provinces and our argument for jurisdiction
over offshore oil and gas.
l asked a question today of the Minister of Justice, who is
the leader of the debate for the government and, if we can read
between the rhetoric of the hon. gentleman, we get the mes~
sage loud and clear that it was not even discussed, and while
the exchange was taking place between myself and the hon.
gentleman, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Finance (Mr. MacEachen), the senior member of this House
from the Atlantic provinces and the senior member of the
government, sat there laughing like a Cheshire cat, and well he
should because he is the arch-Machiavelli of this House. In
fact he should have, as a member representing the interests of
the Atlantic provinces in the government, been hanging his
head in shame over what this proposal does to the little
province, the senior province, of Prince Edward Island.
So far as constitutional reform is concerned, this proposal
literally legislates Prince Edward Island out of existence.
Where was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Finance when that hideous, objectionable provision was writ-
ten into the proposal now before the House? And yet the New
Democratic Party would support that measure, which would
deny rights to one of the senior provinces of this confederation
with respect to constitutional reform.
In so far as oil and gas and the rights of the province of
Newfoundland, which we brought with us as a dominion into
this confederation, are concerned, they are being denied not
only by the measure brought before this House but also by the
so-called sweetheart arrangement entered into a few days ago
by the Leader of the New Democratic Party and the leader of
the government in this House. In so doing the NDP sold its
integrity in so far as the Atlantic provinces are concerned and
sold out what few friends it has left in the Atlantic provinces.
I urge the House to support this motion. I urge my friend,
the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles),
the senior parliamentarian and dean of this House, who has
not said one single word against the scandalous move of the
government to invoke closure on this important matter, to vote
for our motion.
I urge the hon. member for Yorkton~Melville, who made
such an eloquent speech against the measure to which he is
now married by virtue of the action of his leader, to put his
mouth where his heart is and get up and vote against this
measure and vote for our motion.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr. McGrath: Finally, I urge the House to end the division
and discord which are in the land as a result of the unilateral
action the government proposes to take. I urge all hon. mem-
bers of the House to vote for the realistic measure put forward
by the Right Hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Clark), a
measure which would allow for our constitution to be brought
back to Canada, a measure which would allow for an amend-
ing formula to be built into the constitution and, more particu-
larly, a measure which would allow us to retain our national
pride and amend our constitution in Canada where it should be
Some hon. Members: Hear,’hear!
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): Order, please. It being
5.45 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the debate and put
forthwith every question necessary to dispose of proceedings
now before the House, in accordance with Standing Order
Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. Members: Agreed.
Some hon. Members: No.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): All those in favour of the
motion will please say yea.
Some hon. Members: Yea.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): All those opposed will be
please say nay.
Some hon. Members: Nay.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): In my opinion the nays
have it.
And more than five members having risen:
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier): Call in the members.
The House divided on the motion (Mr. Clark), which was
negatived on the following division:

October 22, 1980 COMMONS DEBATES

(Division No. 15)



Carney (Miss)
(Vancouver Quadra)
(Halifax West)

(Qu‘Appelle-Moose Mountain)
(Swill Current-Maple
La Salle






(South West Nova)



De Bane
de Corneille
Erola (Mrs.)


(Hamilton East)
(Kenora-Rainy River)

Madam Speaker: I declare the motion lost.
It being after six o’clock, the House will now adjourn until
tomorrow at 2 p.m. in accordance with Standing Order 2(1)
At 6.16 pm. the House adjourned, without question put,
pursuant to Standing Order.

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