Mr. Speaker, on March 13, 1865, a majority in the Parliament of the Province of Canada voted against holding a referendum on confederation. The proposed referendum was defeated by a vote of 83 to 35.
Canada was therefore born out of a bill adopted by a simple majority.
The people of Canada had no say in this process, because a simple vote in the House was deemed sufficient to legitimize the process.
Unlike the act establishing Canada, the draft bill declaring Quebec's sovereignty will not come into effect without the support of the people of Quebec expressed in a referendum.
To all those Canadians with lofty democratic ideals, who consider a vote of 50 per cent plus one insufficient to legitimize the choice of Quebecers, I would suggest another look at their Canadian history books.