Why Canada Seeks Court (Supreme Court of Canada) Ruling on Quebec Secession
Rock, Allan, Canadian Speeches
There are issues of enormous significance attached to the question of whether or not, following a referendum with the outcome it sought, Quebec would have the right to make a unilateral declaration of independence. The Government of Canada says no, many crucial issues would have to first be resolved. Partial transcript of a speech in the House of Commons, September 26.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to announce that I intend to refer to the Supreme Court of Canada certain specific questions of great importance to all Canadians.
On two occasions in the recent past, the majority of Quebecers have voted for a united Canada. Notwithstanding those democratic expressions of the popular will, the current government of Quebec seems determined to bring the issue to a third vote at some future time. Moreover, they claim to be entitled to make a unilateral declaration of independence to create a separate state of Quebec. In our view, that position is contrary to Canadian law, unsupported by international law, and deeply threatening to the orderly governance of our nation.
If another referendum is to be held, we are convinced that the population of Quebec will vote in favor of a united Canada a third time and that they will do so because a united Canada is the better option, for themselves and for their children.
And just as Quebecers have chosen to stay within Canada in the past when they were asked to make a choice, Canadians everywhere know that Quebec's inclusion is essential to preserving the country that we cherish. As a Canadian who makes his home in Toronto, I can speak very personally in saying that, without Quebec, the magnificent dream and the shining ideal that is Canada would simply not exist.
However, we cannot avoid the serious difficulties created by the Quebec government's assertion that there is the right to secede from Canada through a unilateral declaration of independence. The Government of Quebec has expressly stated that the Constitution and the courts have no role to play in determining the correctness of its position.
As we have argued in court and as I asserted in this House, we believe this is wrong. To …
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Publication information: Article title: Why Canada Seeks Court (Supreme Court of Canada) Ruling on Quebec Secession. Contributors: Rock, Allan - Author. Magazine title: Canadian Speeches. Volume: 10. Issue: 6 Publication date: October 1996. Page number: 52. © 1998 Canadian Speeches. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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