Constitution: The energy is returning! | The Journal of Quebec

I’ve gotten into the habit of saying – to make people smile – that constitutional issues “eroticize” me.

I’ve been feeling less alone lately!

Even columnist Richard Martineau leaned on “The Bombshell by Simon Jolin-Barrette” on Tuesday; who hit, on Sunday, in an interview with Quebec newspaperthat our laws be evaluated under the Quebec Charter of Rights and not under the federal charter imposed in 1982.

The same Martineau wrote in September 1997 in See, on constitutional issues: “FED! DROP THE HOLE! PLEASE BE PATIENT! are you clear enough »

This made me so angry that I responded violently to him in the review FightCondemnation of “our constitutional weariness”.

Today I would agree with Richard that the 15 years of political unrest caused by the Trudeau Sr. coup was no relaxation!

But 25 years after the 1997 exhaustion, some energy is returning. Normal: Impossible for a country to keep debates about its fundamental treaties taboo forever.


Quebec is considering giving our state a formal constitution, François Legault has confirmed this. This has nothing to do with what his minister mentioned on Sunday.

The Quebec charter, adopted even before the federal one in 1975, “doesn’t really exist anymore,” confirmed Patrick Taillon in his Qub constitutional column on Monday.

It has no “autonomy” since it is systematically interpreted in the same way as the federal one.

The Supremes wrote so in a famous decision in 1988: “The words ‘freedom of expression’ should be given the same meaning” in both charters.

It’s not like they’re “twins”. The respective texts have their differences. Nevertheless, they are interpreted by the same judges (appointed by the federal government).

old dream

Before 1982, the Quebec federalists (Johnson, Bourassa, Ryan, etc.) dreamed of a “specialized constitutional court, like in Europe, whose members would be mostly appointed by the provincial states”, wrote Professor Marc Chevrier.

Today, the “Federalists” have changed a lot. Because of the failure of Meech and Charlottetown. Fearing a rejection and thus playing into the hands of the sovereignists, they gave up demanding institutional changes. They have become “Canadians”, “Statuquois”.

According to her, only the courts can interpret rights. The word of the judges is infallible. However, the judges often do not agree among themselves on the interpretation of the rights.

Quebec is unable to create a constitutional court. But he could take inspiration from the British, Taillon suggested on Monday.

They refused to allow judges to overrule laws (as in Canada since 1982). A committee of the House of Lords specializing in constitutional issues issues opinions. It is then up to the politicians to follow them or not.

Also, as Chevrier and others have suggested, Quebec could revitalize its Legislative Council (a sort of Senate abolished in 1968). Members could revise the laws based on the Quebec Charter.

It would be a federalist gesture in the truest sense of the word. According to Taillon, this could be one of the scenarios Jolin-Barrette has in mind.

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