An abortive Canadian constitutional settlement, arising out of Quebec's opposition to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982. To satisfy Quebec's demands for recognition of more rights, Prime Minister Mulroney and the premiers of all Canadian provinces met at Meech Lake (Quebec) to agree on a compromise. Quebec was recognized as having a ‘distinct’ society, while all of Canada was recognized as a bilingual country. Provincial competences were to be increased in aspects of immigration, constitutional rights, and federal spending programmes. The accord was fiercely criticized by some of the weaker provinces, who benefited from a strong Federal state, as well as by Canadian Indians, whose plea for national constitutional recognition would have been hampered by the agreement. It broke down on 1 July 1990, after the provinces of Newfoundland and Manitoba had failed to ratify it within the necessary three-year period.
Subjects: History of the Americas — Contemporary History (Post 1945).