Monday, April 03, 2006

Constitutional Changes in Canada

Excerpts from a CBC article:
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper is willing to re-enter debate over the Constitution in order to address concerns across the country, he told CBC News as legislators prepare for Parliament to resume Monday."
"Ultimately, there will have to be constitutional changes," — Harper
"Harper said he would act not 'just to accommodate Quebec but also to accommodate demands we have from the West and from other parts of the country.'

The prime minister also said that any revisiting of the constitution would have to involve concerns from all of 'the population of Canada.'"
"Harper also told the CBC he will work to rectify questions of a fiscal imbalance between the federal and provincial levels.

'We're prepared to do what we can to address it,' he said.

'Now, the truth of the matter is the provinces don't all agree on the size of the problem, the nature of how that problem should be solved across the country.'"
My goodness! I posted this partly for the sheer vagueness of most of the article. I find the Canadian Consitution, and any changes to it, very interesting, but I can gather little from this article. I suppose more details will emerge in the coming months.

On a different note, the same article includes this quotation:
"'The Conservatives are turning out to be just as bad as the Liberals,' [NDP leader Jack Layton] told delegates at the NDP federal council meeting in Ottawa."
I admit that I have an unreasonable and unworthy prejudice when it comes to the NDP under Layton, but really! Of all the things to complain about! You wanted change; you got it.

At least there is little likelihood of another vote of no confidence. One can only have so many elections in three years . . .

I like it when the NDP sticks to providing respectful, responsible, and cooperative input about specific issues facing government. In the article, for example, Layton said that he "wants to see that issues such as parliamentary ethics and the environment are also given top priority." He also said that he "wanted to see a parliamentary debate on Canada's military role in Afghanistan" and that "his party would not be willing to see Harper's minority government change laws in areas such as same-sex marriage." That sort of thing I appreciate.

Anyway, I look forward to moving to Ontario later this year. I will be considerably closer to all these goings-on, and I might even get to visit Parliament or the Senate (or both!). I cling to the belief that visiting them would be exciting.

Note: I have decided that I like the long quotations. They are easier, and they have the exact statements made by people who are involved. Accordingly, there is a smaller likelihood of misinterpretation (of which I am frequently guilty).


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