By Robert Frank
Guy Ouellette says that the Parti Québécois government has gone overboard by distorting the objective of asking the federal government for more transparency about the 1982 patriation of the Canadian constitution.
On April 16, all members of the provincial legislature—including Ouellette—voted in favour of a motion asking Canada “provide access to all the information contained in its archives,” after a book by Montreal historian Frédéric Bastien alleged that some meddling might have occurred whilst the Supreme Court justices were deliberating the patriation process.
“It’s fair to ask the Canadian government to provide access to all the information that it holds in its archives that will help to shed light on these events,” Chomedey’s elected representative, who also heads Laval’s provincial Liberal caucus, told The Suburban in an interview, “but we weren’t calling for a Royal Commission or trying to put our hands on the Supreme Court of Canada.”
“It’s important to recall that the Supreme Court sided with Quebec and the other provinces in regard to the patriation of the constitution,” reminded Ouellette, “and despite this missed opportunity, the relationship continues and a majority of Quebecers are attached to Canada.”
“Canada remains a lever of economic and social progress for Quebec,” he continued, explaining that the Liberals’ intention when they supported the motion was “to shed light on what really happened.
“Anyone can write whatever they want in a book, so only the evidence contained in the federal archive can permit people who have read what Bastien wrote to decide whether or not it is factual,” Ouellette asserted.
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