Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, chats with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard at a celebration marking the 200th anniversary of George-Étienne Cartier on Sept. 6, 2014 in Quebec City.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard took advantage of a public appearance with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to repeat his wish for the province to sign the Constitution.

Couillard said he wants Quebec to sign on by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The premier made the comments Saturday during a Quebec City speech, at an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir George-Etienne Cartier, a French-Canadian statesman viewed as one of the Fathers of Confederation.

Story continues below advertisement

Cartier's vision for a united Canada that incorporates "a strong Quebec identity" could serve as an inspiration in future talks, Couillard said.

The Quebec premier made a similar commitment to the Constitution at the beginning of this spring's provincial election campaign, but he then shied away from the idea after coming under heavy criticism from the Parti Quebecois.

Later in the campaign he said job creation would be the priority for a Quebec Liberal government and made it clear a constitutional initiative would have to come from English Canada.

Previous Quebec premiers have ducked the Constitution issue, especially since the failures of the Meech Lake accord in the 1980s and the Charlottetown agreement a few years later rekindled sovereigntist fervour to bring the Yes side within a whisker of winning the 1995 referendum.

Harper did not take questions from reporters, but a spokesman for the prime minister said the government has "no intention of re-opening the Constitution."

"Our government will continue to practice a federalism that respects Quebec and provincial jurisdiction," Jason MacDonald said in an email.

In his own speech, Harper hailed Cartier as "one of the great architects of modern-day Canada," who promoted inclusiveness and respect across the country.

Story continues below advertisement

A powerful Quebec politician and lawyer, Cartier is seen as a key player in the movement towards the 1864 Quebec Conference and Confederation itself.

Harper noted that Cartier fought for provincial rights within the federation, though he quickly added there are limits in a united Canada.

"Does it mean that all the provinces and territories will get everything they want all the time? Of course not," he said.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies