Telex from Jean Chrétien to Premiers Re: Proposed Amendment to New Constitutional Resolution… (17 November 1981)
By: Jean Chrétien, Roger Tassé (R.T.), Government of Canada
Citation: Telex from Jean Chrétien to Premiers (17 November 1981) Re: Proposed Amendment to New Constitutional Resolution Based on FMC Accord of November 5/81.
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Department of Justice Canada
Ministère de la Justice Canada
November 17, 1981
Minister – This is a copy of telex that was sent to all Provincial Premiers except Mr. Levesque and to all Intergovernmental Affairs Ministers.
As indicated I will be speaking to their officials in a conference call at 12:00 today and will report to you.
From: THE HONOURABLE JEAN CHRETIEN MINISTER OF JUSTICE, OTTAWA
RE: PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO NEW CONSTITUTIONAL RESOLUTION BASED ON FMC ACCORD OF NOVEMBER 5/81
Set forth below are the texts of three substantive amendments approved by cabinet last night with respect to the working draft of the revised constitutional resolution prepared by federal and provincial delegates on Nov. 5th.
In Summary form, the modifications are as follows:
1) A new clause would be added, following section 37, to provide that where there is a constitutional amendment transferring provincial powers over education or other cultural matters to parliament, and one or more provinces opt out of the amendment, Canada will be constitutionally obliged to
provide reasonable compensation to opting out provinces.
2) Section 23 (Minority Language Education Rights), except for Section 23(1) (a) – The”Mother Tongue” test – Will be applicable to Quebec on Proclamation of the Act. Quebec may choose at any time to opt into section 23(1)(a).
3) With respect to Manitoba, section 23 will be applicable only on issue of a special separate proclamation.
In addition, you will note that the various proclamation provisions provide for these to be issued by the Queen or the Governor General. These provisions are in anticipation that the Queen may be present for the Proclamation of the Constitution
Texts of the Amendments Follow. May I please have your approval before 3:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time Tuesday, November 17, 1981.
Arrangements have been Made for a Conference Call between my Deputy Minister and Provincial Officials Including [text left blank] on behalf of your Government, at 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, November 17th. Any queries could perhaps be dealt with in the course of that call.
“Section 39 – Where an Amendment is made under subsection 37(1) that transfers provincial legislative powers relating to education or other cultural matters from provincial legislatures to parliament, Canada shall provide reasonable compensation to any province to which the amendment does not apply.”
“Section 59 – (1) Paragraph 23(1)(a) shall come into force in respect of Quebec on a day to be fixed by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada.
(2) A proclamation under subsection (1) shall be issued only where authorized by the legislative assembly or Government of Quebec.
(3) This section may be repealed on the day paragraph 23(1)(a) comes into force in respect of Quebec and this Act amended and renumbered, consequential upon the repeal of this section, by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada.
“Section 58 – (1) Section 23 shall come into force in respect of Manitoba on a day to be fixed by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the great seal of Canada.
(2) This section may be repealed on the day section 23 comes into force in respect of Manitoba and this Act amended and renumbered, consequential upon the repeal of this section, by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada.”