Calgary West, AB
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-341, an act to establish the terms and conditions that must apply to a referendum relating to the separation of Quebec from Canada before it may be recognized as a proper expression of the will of the people of Quebec.
Mr. Speaker, this bill outlines a process for dealing with any future referendum on the issue of Quebec sovereignty. There are three main features of this bill. First, it allows the Government of Canada to determine whether a referendum question in Quebec is clear and unambiguous. If it is not, the Government of Canada is required to undertake a number of actions, including the holding of a parallel referendum in Quebec which asks a clear question on separation from Canada.
Second, in the event of a yes vote, the bill authorizes the negotiation of separation subject to consultation with the provinces. Any final settlement would be subject to approval in a national referendum.
Finally, the bill affirms that a unilateral declaration of independence is ineffective with respect to Canadian law and does not affect the functioning of the Canadian Parliament, government or courts with respect to Quebec.
These proposals avoid the mistakes of the past, ensure a respect for our legal order and ensure that all Canadians, including Quebecers, have a role in shaping their future.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)