Telex from Roy Romanow to Jean Chrétien re Proposed Constitutional Changes (18 November 1981)
By: Roy Romanow, Government of Saskatchewan
Citation: Telex from Roy Romanow to Jean Chrétien (18 November 1981).
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INTGOV AFF REG
NOVEMBER 18 18, 1981
TO JEAN CHRETIEN
FROM ROY ROMANOW
Our position is as follows. We believe the accord should be adhered to. If the accord is to be departed from, there is more than one change that must be considered.
We have agreed to the treatment of section 28 contained in your draft telecopier to us on November 17 1981.
We are now told by telephone that it is now proposed to treat section 28 differently by removing it from the ambit of section 33. We have grave reservations about this because of the danger that this would be interpreted to make unconstitutional all affirmative action programs for women. The resolution to be presented to parliament, as sent to us by Mr. Kirby, dealt with this problem adequately.
We have a further problem, premier Blakeny has taken the position that if the accord is re-opened, he would press for the old section 34 to be reinstated, as it appeared in the parliamentary resolution, and in saskatchewan’s submission to the conference on wednesday, November 4. We would be very reluctant to agree to any departure from the accord that failed to honour that position.
In order to get agreement, we would, however (1) agree to the kirby parliamentary resolution telecopier to us on November 17, 1981, which we regard as consistent with the November 5, 1981 accord or (2) agree to including section 28 as a free standing clause in a revision of the accord which included the reinstatement of section 34. We would agree to this reluctance because although we wish to see the former section 34 included in the accord, we continue to have grave misgivings about the affect of the proposed section 28 on all affirmative action programs for women.
ROY J. ROMANOW
MINISTER OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
INTGOV AFF REG