Quebec wants independent inquiry into repatriation of 1982 Constitution | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Quebec wants independent inquiry into repatriation of 1982 Constitution

Alexandre Cloutier, Quebec minister for canadian intergovernmental affairs and to sovereign governance unveils details of a national committee on employment insurance and sovereign governance, Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
April 10, 2013 - 11:19 AM

QUEBEC - The Quebec government wants an independent inquiry into allegations a former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice may have intervened in the repatriation of the Constitution in 1982.

The Parti Quebecois is also considering legal steps to force Ottawa to reveal what Pierre Elliott Trudeau's Liberal government did at the time.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Alexandre Cloutier called on Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin today to announce her intentions.

Cloutier told a news conference in Quebec City that McLachlin must convene an independent inquiry with a precise mandate.

He also says Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has no choice but to tell Quebecers exactly what happened.

A Harper spokesman said Tuesday the federal government isn't going to revisit history and plans to concentrate on jobs and the economy.

A spokesman for the high court says the allegations contained in a new book by historian Frederic Bastien are being looked into.

Bastien writes that Bora Laskin, then chief justice of the Supreme Court, provided information to the Canadian and British governments on the discussions between magistrates about the legality of repatriation.

Another high court judge, Willard Estey, also secretly advised the British government in 1980 that the Supreme Court would address the issue, the author writes.

Bastien suggests that both jurists violated the principle of separation of executive and judicial powers. Bastien's information was gathered during eight years of digging through documents, including British Foreign Office archives.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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