Meech Lake Accord fails

June 17, 2017

Elijah Harper

Elijah Harper in the Manitoba Legislature, June 19, 1990, Wayne Glowacki. Canadian Press, 935631


After Quebec refused to ratify the Constitution Act of 1982, the June 1987 Meech Lake Accord, agreed between the federal government and all ten provinces, was designed to address Quebec’s concerns by constitutionally recognizing it as a “distinct society.” The accord would also provide new powers to the provinces. Some premiers elected after the agreement, however, had reservations about its ratification. A Cree member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly — Elijah Harper — filibustered against it, because it failed to provide for Aboriginal consultation. The Meech Accord expired in June 1990 and its failure contributed heavily to the close vote in the Quebec referendum of 1995.

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