Quebec Soveregnty

Meech Lake


Brian Mulroney – former Prime minister

Robert Bourassa – former Premier of Quebec

Clyde Wells – Former Premier of Newfoundland

Elijah Harper – Aboriginal MLA


What: An accord that would bring Quebec into the constitution, on the condition that it stays a distinct society. The Meech Lake Accord also gave all provinces a greater say in nominating senators and Supreme Court judges, the right to opt out of national social programs, and shared control of immigration. Many people didn’t like that because it would mean that Quebec could do things differently and possibly override important rights.

Where: Canada, focus on provinces like Quebec, Alberta, and Newfoundland

Why: This accord was made to try to bring Quebec into the constitution so that all the provinces could be unified.

When: 1987-1990


How: Brian Mulroney was elected as prime minister and on of his goals was to bring Quebec into the constitution.


Why It Failed: The Accord had to be approved within 3 years, by all 10 provincial legislatures. This gave Canadians a lot of time to voice their concerns, their concerns included:

- The National Action Committee on the Status of Woman feared that Quebec could use their distict society clause to override woman’s equality rights.


- The Aboriginal groups argued that if Quebec should receive distinct status, then they should too.


- Other Canadians believed that it would give too much power to quebec and the other provinces. In fact, 56% of people outside Quebec opposed to the distinct society clause


The main reason that the accord failed is because at the last days before the deadline, Clyde Wells (Premier of Newfoundland) and Elijah Harper (Aboriginal Member of Legislative Assembly) stopped the debates about the accord (for their respective provinces) and withdrew their votes. Due to the opinions of Canadians, and the fact that Clyde wells believed it would give too much power and inequality between provinces. Therefore since only 8 out of the 10 provinces agreed to the Meech Lake Accord, it failed.



The Charlottetown Accord


Brian Mulroney – former Prime minister

Quebecois Aboriginals



Recognizes aboriginal peoples’ right to self government

Elected senate with equal number of senators from each province with reserved number for aboriginals

Where: Charlottetown, PEI

Why: To try to bring Quebec into the constitution

When: 1992


5 National Conferences,

Fate of accord was to be decided by national referendum

In the end, only 54% of Canadians rejected the accord so it failed



Quebec’s Response to the Accords


Who: Parizeay (Primier), Boucherd (Minister of Mulroney),


What: Quebecois of Brian Mulroney’s Cabinet were disturbed with the widespread resistance to Quebec Sovereignty and started the Bloc Quebecois, dedicated to Quebec Sovereignty.


Why: To promote and achieve Quebec Sovereignty


When: N/a


1995 Sovreignty Referendum

Quebecois elected Parti Quebecois government in 1994 .They promised a vote in a sovereignty referendum. In the end the victory was for the country as there was a slim win that Quebec should be in the confederation.


Government’s Response to Referendums

Since the federalist side was successful in 1995, the soverginty thouts were still in peoples’ minds. People thought that the vote was unclear. Therefore the response was the clarity act which stated that before a vote the House of Comons will decide whether the proposed referendum question is clear, any question that isn’y directly related to separation will be considered unclear, All provinces must be involved, a constitutional amendment will be required before a province can separate.'