Memorandum from R.G. Robertson to Mr. Carter, Mr. Gravelle, Mrs. Reed, and Mr. Hurley (11 July 1975)

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Date: 1975-07-11
By: R.G. Robertson
Citation: Memorandum from R.G. Robertson to Mr. Carter, Mr. Gravelle, Mrs. Reed, and Mr. Hurley (11 July 1975).
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July 11th, 1975.


Attached is the revised “form” as we agreed upon it in our meeting this morning. If you have, on further consideration, any comments or suggestions, please let me know early in the week.



July 11th, 1975.

Revised Form for a Proclamation
of the Governor General: “First Approach”

Whereas it is fitting that it should be possible to amend the constitution of Canada in all respects by action of the appropriate instrumentalities of government in Canada acting separately or in concert as may best suit the matter in question;

And whereas changes in the constitution, interpretation of its provisions or action by the federal parliament or government should not endanger the continuation and full development of the French language in Canada and the culture based thereon and it is desirable that the two official languages and the cultures based on them should be equally assured of preservation and full development in Canada;

And whereas it is equally desirable that the Parliament and government of Canada and the Legislatures and governments of the provinces act effectively to promote equality of opportunity and an acceptable level of public services among the different regions of Canada;

Therefore it is desirable to establish:

(a) a method for the amendment in Canada of those parts of the constitution of general interest and concern which cannot now be amended in Canada in which the consent will be required of the legislatures of provinces representative of both the official language groups of Canada as well as the legislatures of provinces in all of the geographical regions of Canada;

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(b) means by which provinces can participate in the selection of persons to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada; and

(c) principles to guide the Parliament and government of Canada in the exercise of the powers allotted to them under the constitution or the law of Canada;

Now therefore I …………… do proclaim as follows:

1. …(the method of amendment
– Part IX of Victoria less paras 53, 54, 55)

2. …(appointments to the Supreme Court
– Part IV of Victoria)

3. The Parliament of Canada, in the exercise of powers allocated to it under any provision of the constitution of Canada, and the government of Canada in the exercise of any powers conferred upon it by the constitution of Canada or by laws passed by the Parliament of Canada shall be guided, among other considerations for the welfare and advantage of the people of Canada, by the knowledge that a fundamental purpose underlying the federation of Canada is to ensure the preservation and the full development of the two official languages of Canada and the cultures based on them.

4. The Parliament and government of Canada and the Legislatures and governments of the provinces are committed to:

(a) the promotion of equality of opportunity and well being for all individuals in Canada;

(b) the assurance, as nearly as possible, that essential public services of reasonable quality are available to all individuals in Canada; and

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(c) the promotion of economic development to reduce disparities in the social and economic opportunities for all individuals in Canada wherever they may live,

but this commitment shall not have the effect of altering the distribution of powers and shall not compel the Parliament of Canada or Legislatures of the provinces to exercise their legislative powers.

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