Couillard happy with premiers’ constitutional reaction in Edmonton

EDMONTON — Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is expressing satisfaction with the reaction of his counterparts to his political document outlining his desire to have the province eventually sign the Constitution.

“I’d sum things up by saying they listened very attentively and their reaction was very positive,” Couillard told reporters Tuesday after he briefed the other premiers at the Council of the Federation in Edmonton.

“We know that one day there may be a constitutional gathering but it’s not for today. That wasn’t the goal of this exercise.”

The document outlining Couillard’s thinking about Quebec’s place within Canada was released at the end of May ago and is entitled, ”Quebecers: Our Way of Being Canadians.”

Couillard has said the goal of his government’s proposal is to “start a dialogue” about Quebec’s place in the country, which he hopes will lead to the eventual reopening of constitutional negotiations and to Quebec finally signing the 1982 Constitution.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said he believes it is perfectly reasonable for Quebec to want to sign the document after 35 years.

“I think the premier did an effective job in presenting the case as to why this is probably, and should be, an inevitable discussion that we have in this country,” Wall said after Couillard’s presentation.

“Thank goodness that a document like this was presented by a premier of Quebec like (Mr). Couillard, who is a federalist, who wants Quebec to continue to be an important part of the fabric of the country.

“A document would have looked a lot different coming from perhaps some other politician or premier in the past or in the future who had a different view of things.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been adamant he will not reopen the Constitution and he reiterated that position on Tuesday when he spoke to reporters in eastern Quebec.

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