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It will be interesting to see how this plays out:

'We are not opening the Constitution': Trudeau pans Quebec's plans

'You know my views,' Liberal PM says as Quebec prepares to launch national discussion

By Janyce McGregor, CBC News  Posted: Jun 01, 2017 10:30 AM ET| Last Updated: Jun 01, 2017 8:07 PM ET 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seen here on the final day of his trip to Europe this week, told reporters in Ottawa Thursday that he's not on board with plans by the Quebec government to reopen discussions on bringing the province into the 1982 Constitution.(Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press) 
As Premier Philippe Couillard kicks off a renewed discussion about Quebec signing on to the 1982 Constitution, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants no part of it.

"You know my views on the Constitution," Trudeau told reporters in French on Thursday morning in Ottawa. "We are not opening the Constitution."

Couillard released a 177-page document outlining his government's vision of Quebec's role within Canada and laying out arguments in support of reopening negotiations.
■Why now? Questions abound as Couillard poised to reopen constitutional debate
■Quebec plans to reopen constitutional debate, launch coast-to-coast discussion

It repeats the "five conditions" set out by former premier Robert Bourassa that drove negotiations for the Meech Lake accord 30 years ago, including Constitutional recognition for the Quebec nation.

After Trudeau's cabinet met Thursday morning, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the federal government has a productive relationship with Quebec.

"The priorities that have been expressed by Quebecers and, may I say, by all Canadians, is that we should focus on the economy and on the creation of jobs," he said. "That's a full-time job."

'Not the right timing'

"It has to be settled one day or the other," said Liberal MP Denis Paradis, but "if some people don't want to talk about it right now, it's not the right timing."

"I don't think there's much appetite among Canadians regarding this," said his caucus colleague Pablo Rodriguez.

'The fact that Quebec never signed is not a small detail. It has to be corrected eventually.'

- NDP leadership candidate Guy Caron

"I think most people in federal politics would rather that we not reopen the Constitution, but it's not really our decision to make, is it?" said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

She said other issues can't be resolved — Senate reform and environmental rights among them — without wading in.

"If you're looking at a time to have that conversation, it's certainly better to have it at a time when we're not in a crisis," she said.

"If Quebec is interested in reopening the discussion about the Quebec's place in Canada and the Constitution, there are certainly other constitutional issues we would like to discuss," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a statement.

That would include Canada's "terribly flawed" and "outdated" equalization payments system, he said, which "takes over $500 million a year out of Saskatchewan even while our economy is being hit by low resource prices, while providing over $11 billion a year to Quebec."

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne was asked about constitutional talks being a slippery slope, with every province wanting to add something else.

"Well, we're not going to do that, so it's very simple," he said.

'Radical federalist'

"I think that Philippe Couillard is showing himself to be a bridge builder, and Justin Trudeau is slamming the door on that for his own partisan, petty political gain rather than looking at the long game for the country," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. 

"Using Quebec as a whipping boy is a very old strategy, and Trudeau son is trying to emulate Trudeau père [father], and frankly it's unbecoming a prime minister of Canada whose No. 1 job is keeping the country together," he said.

Conservative Jacques Gourde said in French that this debate takes political courage.

Trying to reconnect…

"The fact that Quebec never signed is not a small detail. It has to be corrected eventually," said New Democrat Guy Caron, praising Couillard's approach as constructive.

Bloc Québécois MP Xavier Barasalou-Duval said Trudeau is a "radical federalist."

"He doesn't want to speak, doesn't want to talk, doesn't want to hear. So it's not the way that you should drive a country," he said. "We see that there's no opportunity in Canada."

Divisive history

Quebec was the only province not to sign on to Canada's Constitution in 1982 after a passionate and divisive debate.
■CBC Digital Archives: Pierre Trudeau brings home the Constitution
■Archives: Charting the Future: Canada's new Constitution

The province's status within Canada became one of the most contentious issues in Canadian politics over the next two decades, with two failed attempts by the subsequent Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney — the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords — to bring Quebec into the Constitution under new terms.

Quebec Constitution Debate 201706601
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (right) and his house leader Jean-Marc Fournier previewed the Liberal government's discussion paper about Quebec signing on to the 1982 Constitution for The Canadian Press on Wednesday. Couillard wants Trudeau to read the plan before closing the door on the idea. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

The Liberal prime minister who came next, Jean Chrétien, was at the helm when the 1995 Quebec referendum vote nearly returned a majority in favour of pursuing independence. His government brought then constitutional expert Stéphane Dion into cabinet to lead the federal response, ultimately resulting in the Clarity Act, which sets out the terms for any future sovereignty referendum.

Dion is now Canada's ambassador to Germany and Trudeau's special envoy to the European Union.

During former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper's tenure, the House of Commons passed a controversial motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation. 

The constitutional front has been largely quiet since then, with federal and provincial sovereigntist parties finding lower levels of support and governments at both levels focusing on other issues in the federal-provincial relationship.
■2011 poll: Are Canadians over their Constitutional phobias?

Meech Lake revisited?

When Couillard became leader of the Quebec Liberals in 2013, the strong federalist said he was in favour of reopening the discussion to help the province "reintegrate into the Canadian family."

But what's changed since the last round of constitutional wrangling to suggest a new "dialogue" will succeed?

"To be frank, I don't know," said former politician turned law professor Benoît  Pelletier, suggesting that so far this looks like a second try for the Meech Lake accord. "I thought that he would come up with something different."

Couillard likely wants a mandate in the next provincial election to proceed, Jean Charest's former intergovernmental affairs minister said.

Aboriginal groups, who also want the Constitution reopened to address their concerns, may be Quebec's allies in the discussion, he suggested.

"The word 'Constitution' is back in the public debate," he said.

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The Libs are still playing to the French Voters. Extra points for Strong French Language scores but nothing for those with Strong English Language scores.  

Immigration minister announces changes to express entry program

Ahmed Hussen

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Published Monday, June 5, 2017 1:15PM EDT

The federal government has made some changes to the express entry immigration program, awarding more points to applicants who have siblings in Canada and those who have strong French language skills.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced the changes Monday morning at a centre for immigrants in Markham, Ont., just north of Toronto.

Under the express entry program, applicants can score a total of 1,200 points depending on their education, training, work experience and language skills. The program was launched by the previous Conservative government as a way of fast-tracking permanent residency for highly skilled foreigners.

Starting on Tuesday, the express entry system will begin awarding 15 points to candidates who have siblings in Canada. The sibling must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 or older. 

“Studies have shown that as newcomers build a new life in Canada, those with siblings benefit by having improved integration into Canadian society,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said in an update on its website.

Previously, no points were awarded to applicants with siblings in Canada.

The program will also start awarding up to 30 additional points to candidates with strong French-language skills, depending on their language test results.  The additional points can be awarded regardless of whether the candidate also has English language skills.

“French-speaking newcomers contribute to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada,” the government said.

Up until now, express entry candidates also had to create a Job Bank account if they didn’t have a valid job offer. The Job Bank registration will be voluntary as of Tuesday.

In a statement Monday, Hussen said the changes will help Canada “welcome more skilled immigrants” whose siblings can help them integrate faster and who can contribute to the country’s Francophone communities.

In 2016, nearly 34,000 invitations to apply for permanent residence were issued to express entry candidates.

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4 hours ago, DEFCON said:

Can anyone provide a logical reason for Canada's continuing to bring in waves of third world immigrants?


Replacement for dwindling percentage of  working Canadians who will support the increasing number of retirees. Perhaps a good solution would be to introduce a "real" baby bonus along with "real" day care etc. so that Canadian Parents might increase their yield:D (perhaps 3 children) instead of 2 but of course they may not want to vote "Liberal" 

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1 hour ago, Jaydee said:

Trudeau wants Canada to triple its population. Just IMAGINE the taxes he could collect then.



That would fit with his reduction on CO2 as the libs agree with the blame been placed based on Per capita  rather than total tonnage. Such an increase would perhaps allow them to meet their promised reduction with little or no effort. 

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I don't buy the dwindling population theory of immigration Malcolm, the growth model, intended to enrich corporations and shareholders at the expense of what was once a middle class seems to fit the reality of the experient much better.



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Defcon, I am not sure how more immigrants will enrich corporations and shareholders at the expense of what was a middle class in that:

A lot of middle class folks also own stocks personally or as part of their pension plans.

A lot of middle class folks are employed by corporations.

I do believe we need to ensure we have a constant level of workers but I don't believe a growth in immigration is the answer.

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"Just IMAGINE the taxes he could collect then."

In his wet dreams yes, but reality says it'll be the little guy that's left to deal and pay for the predictable results of his governments truly stupid policies.



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48 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

There is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100,000 abortions in Canada annually… is that another thread?

 Not aviation related so I guess our hosts would have to create a pro life or pro choice page but of course you could always start it as a new topic in this section along with of course your POV. :D

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The problem is that Economy based purely on growth is no sustainable.  At some point the economy, and population, have to shrink.


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A shrinking population would not require continuous job creation programs etc. to match the ongoing immigration crush. For example; as robotics continue to replace humans, the loss of work and need to find replacement employment for those displaced persons won't be anywhere, if at all, as negatively consequential to the economy as we're now finding.




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50 minutes ago, DEFCON said:

A shrinking population would not require continuous job creation programs etc. to match the ongoing immigration crush. For example; as robotics continue to replace humans, the loss of work and need to find replacement employment for those displaced persons won't be anywhere, if at all, as negatively consequential to the economy as we're now finding.




But how would the Libs entice new voters? :D

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10 hours ago, Malcolm said:

But how would the Libs entice new voters? 

By saving their lives maybe.

Hadn’t given this a lot of thought previously, but suppose, just suppose, we stop killing babies… to the tune of the city of Thunder Bay every year. Our population would show a net increase and we would no longer need to import people who hate us. If the Romans were on the ball they might still be around too. Alas, they imploded; something about the tax base and immigration of  barbarians as I recall. Those who cannot remember the past...

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Nice thought Wolfhunter and it's only my opinion, but babies that are unwanted, and aborted ones obviously fit the bill, are not likely to find life as comfortable as we might hope if their fate was reversed.



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