06.01.2017 10:31 AM

I love Justin Trudeau. There, I said it.

Just getting that out here, about this.

Takes big constitutional balls to say what he has said, very clearly. Ipso facto, I (and Coyne, probably) love the guy.

As Premier Philippe Couillard appears set to kick off a renewed push towards negotiations for Quebec to sign on to the 1982 Constitution, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to want to stay out of it.

“You know my views on the Constitution,” Trudeau told reporters in French on Thursday morning in Ottawa. “We are not opening the Constitution.”

The CBC’s French-language service, Radio-Canada, was among media reporting late Wednesday that Couillard is set to release a 200-page document outlining his government’s vision of Quebec’s role within Canada and laying out arguments in support of reopening negotiations.


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Like father, like son.

    I’ll be watching the opposition seat count in the next Quebec election. Nothing quite like giving Legault and Lisée a bone.

    What the Premier won’t do to try and ward off a return to the opposition benches. PLQ-QLP strategists know zip about the entrenched mentality in Ottawa. And it shows.

  2. Charlie says:


    Trudeau has my absolute and full admiration for shooting the notion down. There are many things to like and dislike about Trudeau, this one is definitely in the “love it” column.

    On the hand, you have that asshole, skid-mark, remnant of a man, Tom Mulcair demanding that Trudeau shows “courage” like “he and Jack Layton did” (never misses an opportunity to compliment himself) and rip open the Constitution over Quebec. What a fucking moron this guy is.

    Also, Mulcair is apparently a Karla Homolka supporter — so, a great day its been for the mighty “prosecutor-in-chief”.

    Dippers need to speed up their leadership process; I’m sick of seeing Mulcair’s smug face.

  3. Howard says:

    “You know my views on the Constitution,” Trudeau told reporters in French on Thursday morning in Ottawa. “We are not opening the Constitution.”


    What’s wrong with Constitutional amendments? Why should they never be up for debate? The Constitution wasn’t ordained by God.

    I don’t much care either way and I think Couillard shouldn’t waste his time. Generalization alert, but it seems like very few people outside Quebec really give a crap anymore if Quebec stays or goes, or if Quebeckers are secure enough with their identity within Canada.

    • Gyor says:

      Nothing is wrong with constitutional amendments, the federal Liberals are just superstitious about amending it.

      Most of what Colliard wants would actually be simple to amend the constitution to grant.

      You don’t need a referundum or support from other provinces to grant distinct so
      society status to Quebec, because it doesn’t effect other provinces, or any areas like the Senate that would require the use of one of the more difficult amending formulas.

      All it would take is both the Federal government and Quebec government passing the amendments in their respective legislatures. Done. So so easy and simple. Trudeau is screwing this up.

      • Vancouverois says:

        False on all counts.

        Couillard is demanding a number of changes that would require full constitutional amendments. A veto for Quebec, guaranteed representation on the Supreme Court, limits on federal spending, provincial control over immigration – entrenching these would all require changes to the Constitution of the country.

        As for “distinct society”, Robert Bourassa made it very clear that “distinct society” was code for “not subject to the normal limitations on government powers in a free democracy”, and that he would use it to further erode individual rights. That is intolerable, and even if it weren’t you’d still have to modify the Charter – another constitutional amendment.

        I am no fan of Trudeau, but thank goodness he had enough sense to put his foot down right away. Couillard is a fool and a traitor for opening up this can of worms, which can only work to the advantage of the separatist parties.

  4. Ridiculosity says:

    Trudeau’s right. We’ve had this ‘conversation’ before – and it has never ended well.

    Canada has bigger issues to deal with. Move on.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Depends on your perspective. Basically, any federal government has to decide how it wants to ingest its constitutional poison. It can swig it fast, like Meech Lake and Charlottetown, or it can ingest it on a delayed fuse mechanism. But either way, the federation will surely pay, some day or another.

      Most English-speaking Canadians support the status quo. Most French-speaking Canadians would prefer a renewed federalism — read more powers for Quebec within the federation. Both groups are living in a fool’s paradise as neither can ultimately co-exist on a long-term basis. One day, Quebec will go and the remaining provinces and territories will respect that. The dysfunctional federation will inevitably come to an end. It will go out with a whimper, rather than a bang, and both sides will be to blame for that.

      No one can reconcile a house divided. Even God can’t save the Canadian federation. The seeds of death were sown way back in 1982.

      • Vancouverois says:


        I live in Quebec, and I haven’t noticed any enthusiasm among my francophone friends for going through the eighties and nineties again. What exactly is your basis for all these claims about what French-speaking Canadians think?

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          Your circle sure isn’t like mine. Family, friends and acquaintances all ideally have renewed federalism on their theoretical wish list. Most of them happen to also think that it will never, ever, happen.

          Try relating it to all those unanimous motions adopted by the National Assembly, re: federal jurisdiction, that were destined to go nowhere. As you well know, show and appearance are everything in this province.

          Looks like Grandpas Cullen-Couture won’t end up with any political descendants. Absolutely no surprise there.

  5. Eastern Rebellion says:

    This is Quebec libs trying to change the channel…there is absolutely no need to open this Pandora’s box, and no appetite in the ROC for this nonsense. Way to go Justin.

  6. Matt says:

    I’m sorry, but does he really deserve praise for taking the only stance he realistically could have taken?

    EVERYONE knows the ginormous cluster f–k that would ensue if he said anything else.

  7. Kevin says:

    Walter Kirn once opened a Harper’s Magazine essay (about another subject entirely) with something that is exactly how I feel about the “distinct society” debate.

    “I like to think I’m unique. Don’t you?”

  8. P. Brenn says:

    Oh gawd stop the presses.. Bob Rae says not so fast … big Bob ..worst ex premier ever of Ontario ..classy guy who stuck his finger down his throat at mention of ex PM Harpers name… this proves Trudeau is taking the right position….Bob’s was never really a liberal…

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