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The consequences of Meech Lake’s failure

The Story

In this televised address, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney tries to quell the post-Meech chaos. With the collapse of the Meech Lake accord, many fear that the Canadian dollar will plummet and Canadian unity will crumble. Mulroney solemnly addresses these issues and urges all Canadians to continue the constitutional fight. "There is no dishonour in having tried to overcome a serious threat to our unity. No achievement is possible without great effort and such effort always carries with it the risk of failure," he says.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: June 23, 1990
Guest(s): Brian Mulroney
Duration: 10:04

Did You know?

• Although Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney had won two successive majority governments in 1984 and 1988, his popularity dwindled to 20 per cent in the polls after the failure of the Meech Lake accord.

• "Some day, there will be a new prime minister not bound by any baggage, someone who can make a fresh start. He or she will invite the country to dream a bold dream for the future. Part of that golden dream for Canada surely has to be a formula that makes the people of Quebec signatories and full partners in the Canadian Constitution." - Brian Mulroney, Maclean's, June 16, 2000.

• John Godfrey, of the Financial Post, chronicled the mismanagement of the Meech Lake accord in his editorial "Never do this again!" He wrote: "What a mess. As we went to press, the Meech Lake constitutional process was in total confusion, the accord itself apparently near death. At the 11th hour (the 11th and a half in Newfoundland), the federal government had resorted to a desperate ploy to keep the accord alive.  Whatever the final result, this has been a dreadful process. Canadians must never be put through it again. The past six months have lacerated this country, and it's not over yet. But the worst aspect is the great danger we have run of losing Canada altogether."


Constitutional Discord: Meech Lake more