“Putting broken cart before lame horse”, Ottawa Journal (27 August 1975)

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Date: 1975-08-27
By: Ottawa Journal
Citation: “Putting broken cart before lame horse”, Ottawa Journal (27 August 1975).
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Privy Council Office Bureau du Conseil privé

Name of Publication Nom de la publication
Ottawa Journal

Aug 27 1975

Putting broken cart
before lame horse

Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa seems to agree with most other Canadians that it would be an unwise investment of time and effort to reopen the constitutional reform debate that has been so blessedly dormant in the past few years. Otherwise, why would he make it so easy for everyone to agree to avoid the subject?

That would seem to be the main result of Mr. Bourassa’s demands that Quebec be granted constitutional control of immigration, communications and language even before agreement is reached to have the constitutional amendment process taken out of the British Parliament’s hands.

Just imagine the stew of provincial pre-conditions that could result if other provinces also demanded concessions before the technical matter of “bringing home” the constitution was settled. There might in effect be nothing left to bring home – at least nothing that resembles the British North America Act.

Since there is no real taste for another constitutional debate in Canada, and particularly in Ottawa, it is just as well that Mr. Bourassa has put the cart before the horse and blocked any chance of progress. But it’s an academic exercise, since the cart has no wheels and the horse is a non-starter from away back.

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