Unfinished business brought the First Ministers back to the constitutional bargaining table in 1987. Many Canadians felt uneasy about Quebec's exclusion from the 1982 Constitution and so the negotiations began again under the leadership of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with the Meech Lake Accord. CBC Archives examines the backroom lockdowns, the "distinct society" debate and the ultimate undercurrent of constitutional discord.
• The premiers agreed to take the Accord home with them and ratify the document in their parliamentary legislatures. Under section 42 of the Constitution Act of 1982, the Accord had to be ratified by Parliament and all of the provincial legislatures within a three-year time period.
• On June 23, 1987, Quebec's National Assembly set the proceedings in motion and became the first province to ratify the Accord. The other provinces accordingly faced a deadline of June 23, 1990. In order to be ratified, the Meech Lake Accord would have to be approved in each province and in the House of Commons with no changes or amendments.
The timeline for approval was as follows:
• September 23, 1987, Saskatchewan became the second province to approve the Accord.
• December 7, 1987, Alberta approved the Accord.
• May 13, 1988, Prince Edward Island ratified the Accord.
• May 25, 1988, Nova Scotia became the fifth province to accept the Accord.
• June 29, 1988, Ontario and BC approved the Accord.
• June 22, 1988, the House of Commons approved the Accord.
• July 7, 1988, Newfoundland becomes the eighth province to ratify the Accord. On April 6, 1990, Newfoundland rescinded its approval.
• On June 15, 1990, the New Brunswick legislature approved the Accord.
• The Manitoba legislature didn't approve the Accord.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 3, 1987
Guest(s): John Buchanan, Joe Ghiz, Howard Pawley, Brian Peckford, David Peterson, Bill Vander Zalm
Commentator: David Halton
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Jason Moscovitz
Last updated: January 30, 2012
Page consulted on May 17, 2013
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Prime Minister Brian Mulroney calls the First Ministers back to the co...
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Manitoba MLA Elijah Harper blocks the Meech Lake Accord.
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Quebec politicians respond to the death of the Meech Lake accord.
Mulruney's post Meech Lake failure speech.
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Quebec premier Robert Bourassa discusses the failure of the Meech Lake...
In Montreal, Canadians are of two minds about the death of the Meech L...
As Meech dies, premier Clyde Wells goes on the defensive.
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Unfinished business brought the First Ministers back to the constituti...