Mr. Speaker, the agreement on the management of salmon issues to be signed today by the Prime Minister and the Premier of British Columbia vindicates former Prime Minister Lester Pearson's concept of co-operative federalism.
Intergovernmental relations in a federal system should be based not on confrontation and a rush to the law courts but on pragmatic accommodation and administrative partnership. Today most major issues transcend the problem-solving capacities of any one level of government and require a melding of decision making, not a fragmentation of power into watertight compartments of constitutional competence, federal or provincial.
We all have everything to gain by this highly pragmatic, empirically based approach to the regulation and conservation of a great national resource on the west coast.
It is to be achieved not by the frustrating processes of formal amendment of the Constitution, but by consensus of the respective heads of government, concretized in a legal agreement based on the constitutional principle of good faith and on mutual benefit.