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Last revised:
23 August 2000

Quebec and the Patriation of the Constitution 1981-1982

Resolution of the National Assembly (English Version)

The National Assembly of Québec,

mindful of the right of the people of Québec to self-determination,

and exercising its historical right of being a full party to any change to the Constitution of Canada which would affect the rights and powers of Québec,

declares that it cannot accept the plan to patriate the Constitution unless it meets the following conditions:

1. It must be recognized that the two founding peoples of Canada are fundamentally equal and that Québec, by virtue of its language, culture and institutions, forms a distinct society within the Canadian federal system and has all the attributes of a distinct national community;

2. The constitutional amending formula

      (a) must either maintain Québec's right of veto or
      (b) be in keeping with the Constitutional Accord signed by Québec on April 16, 1981 whereby Québec would not be subject to any amendment which would diminish its powers or rights, and would be entitled, where necessary, to reasonable and obligatory compensation;
3. Given that a Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms is already operative in Québec, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be entrenched in the Canadian Constitution must limit itself to:
(a) democratic rights;
(b) use of French and English in federal government institutions and services;
(c) equality between men and women provided the National Assembly retains the power to legislate in matters under its jurisdiction;
(d) fundamental freedoms provided the National Assembly retains the power to legislate in matters under its jurisdiction; and
(e) English and French minority language guarantees in education, provided Québec is allowed to adhere voluntarily considering that its power in this area must remain total and inalienable and that its minority is already the most privileged in Canada.
4. Effect must be given to the provisions already prescribed in the federal proposal in respect of the right of the provinces to equalization and to better control over their natural resources.


Signed in Québec City on the
 16 December 1982 [Signed René Blondin]

Secrétaire général de l'Assemblée nationale

Source: James Ross HURLEY, Amending Canada’s Constitution, Ottawa, Supply and Services, 1996, 297p.