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A better way to fix Canada Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 December 2005

A better way to fix Canada

Most people assume that only by electing better federal politicians can we fix Canada’s malfunctioning federal system.

They picture Canadians from coast to coast banding together to set things right. No more would Ottawa be inept, corrupt, divisive and intrusive. No more would it set east against west, urban against rural, and province against province.

No more would westerners fear what Ottawa might secretly be planning to seize a larger share of resource wealth.

But it’s a fantasy. The failure of the Reform Party in the 1990s proved it. The conflicting interests and attitudes of the various regions perpetuate the kind of federal government that now exists.

As for provincial governments, they have even less power than national political parties to change the system.

Except in one vitally important respect.

Provincial governments have power over the Canadian Constitution. They can change the country by changing the Constitution -- the ground-rules of Confederation.

In fact, anything short of constitutional change amounts to time-wasting and tinkering. What one government reforms by ordinary legislation today another will deform tomorrow.

It’s different with the Constitution. Though hard to change, it’s virtually impossible to change back.
In this report we will discuss how provincially-driven constitutional change could happen, and what it should include.

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