Ratifying a Post-Referendum Agreement on Quebec Sovereignty

THE REFERENDUM PAPERS: ESSAYS ON SECESSION AND NATIONAL UNITY, David Cameron ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999

35 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2011

See all articles by Bruce Ryder

Bruce Ryder

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Peter Russell

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science

Abstract

If the sovereigntists win another referendum in Quebec, the terms of Quebec’s accession to sovereignty should be negotiated and ratified under the existing rules for amending the Canadian Constitution, despite some sovereigntists’ objections that Quebec need not abide by the terms of the Constitution Act, 1982, which it has never ratified. Any other process, however, is likely to lead to more chaos and disruption than would otherwise occur.

A sovereignty agreement could include constitutional changes that fall into some or all of five categories: constitutional amendments terminating the authority of existing federal and provincial institutions over the territory and people of Quebec; constitutional and statutory amendments to make remaining federal institutions workable in the short term; provisions, constitutional or otherwise, for any new links established between Quebec and Canada; new treaties, or a commitment to negotiate them, among Aboriginal peoples, Quebec, and Canada; and nonconstitutional items to be implemented by legislation, executive orders, or treaties.

Keywords: Constitutional law, secession, constitutional amendment

Suggested Citation

Ryder, Bruce and Russell, Peter, Ratifying a Post-Referendum Agreement on Quebec Sovereignty. THE REFERENDUM PAPERS: ESSAYS ON SECESSION AND NATIONAL UNITY, David Cameron ed., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1742100

Bruce Ryder (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Peter Russell

University of Toronto - Department of Political Science ( email )

Sidney Smith Hall
100 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
Canada

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