CANADA

National Notes

December 24 1990
CANADA

National Notes

December 24 1990

National Notes

CANADA'S DEBATE

In a speech to the House of Commons, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney urged a joint parliamentary committee assessing new ways to amend the Constitution to consider allowing Canadians to approve changes through a referendum. Earlier, Parti Québécois Leader Jacques Parizeau told a gathering of Toronto's business elite that Quebec separation was inevitable. Parizeau predicted that Canada and Quebec would continue to be linked economically, but insisted, “We want to have a real country.” In Quebec, influential government adviser Léon Dion of Laval University told the Bélanger-Campeau commission that Quebec should try again to negotiate a renewed form of federalism with the rest of Canada. But Dion called for those negotiations to be backed by a referendum supporting sovereigntyassociation.

BACK IN THE SADDLE

Liberal Leader Jean Chrétien won a seat in the House of Commons after he took 53 per cent of the vote in the federal byelection in New Brunswick’s Beauséjour riding. New Democrat Guy Cormier finished second. A Liberal also won the Torontoarea byelection in York North, to leave standings in the 295-seat House at 159 Tories, 80 Liberals, 44 NDP and 12 others.

FRESH TROOPS FOR SPICER

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed James Matkin, president of the Business Council of British Columbia, and Raymond Sirois, president of QuébecTéléphone, to the Citizens’ Forum on Canada’s Future, led by broadcaster and bureaucrat Keith Spicer. The new members will replace Vancouver broadcaster Jack Webster and United Nations official Thérèse Pacquet-Sévigny, who resigned from the commission, citing conflicting commitments.

TURMOIL IN THE RANKS

John Reynolds, 48, resigned as British Columbia’s environment minister after Premier William Vander Zalm vetoed new pollution standards regulating dioxin emissions from the province’s pulp mills. In a subsequent cabinet shuffle, backbencher Clifford Serwa was appointed as Reynolds’s replacement, while former attorney general Stuart (Bud) Smith—who was cleared of any wrongdoing after he resigned in July over the release of taped radio-telephone calls and allegations that he had tried to obstruct justice—returned to cabinet as minister of economic development.