Canada's Meech Lake Accord

Essay by marierules69College, Undergraduate May 2004

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The Meech Lake Accord was named after the resort in Quebec where the conference was held. For the purpose of this paper, I will be looking at what the demands were, who supported and who opposed them as well as my own opinion about the Meech lake accord.

First of all, it is important to mention that the constitution in 1982 allowed Canada to make changes to the governing framework of the nation. The terms however, did not meet the needs of all Canadians. Some were concerned not everyone's rights would be protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Others had concerns about problems that the constitution did not address. Addingany Canadians also believed that unless Quebec's concern were addressed, there was a high probability that Canada as a nation might break apart. The Constitution Act of 1982 legally applied to Quebec and its residents, but the province did not sign it because it did not address its political concerns and issues.

Brian Mulroney had campaigned on the promise of bringing Quebec into the Constitution so the Meech Lake Accord was created to address all these challenges, to bring Quebec into the constitution and to amend the constitution to answer the concerns of other groups as well. The Meech Lake Accord was Canada's first attempt at major political reform under its patriated constitution, and also its first attempt to amend its own constitution. This accord is considered a test of the strength of the constitution and the new amending formula.

A first ministers' conference held at Meech Lake, in April 1987, tentatively approved a package that met Quebec's demands and incorporated concerns expressed by other provinces.

The Meech Lake Accord envisioned a nation quite different from the vision articulated by post-war Liberal federalism.

Quebec had 5 demands that needed...