Can of Worms
Quebec wants to define 'nation' status
QUEBEC -- The provincial government plans to force the federal government's hand on how it views the division of powers with the provinces and spending, Quebec Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benoît Pelletier says.
Premier Jean Charest's government also wants to finally see Quebec's distinctiveness recognized in the Constitution in a charter of open federalism.
Mr. Pelletier said he wants the federal government to be specific in its recognition of Quebec on its national characteristics as well as the limits of federal spending powers.
The federal government has already recognized the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada but has never really been clear about what that means.
Mr. Pelletier said that instead of being a vague document, he wants the charter to be a blueprint for future dealings with the provinces.
He said a charter of open federalism could be a significant contribution to modern Canada and signal the advent of a "much healthier federalism."
"If Ottawa is not ready to define the contents of this charter, I am," Mr. Pelletier said.
Labels: Quebec Nation