Mr. Speaker, the British Columbia panel on national unity, appointed by Premier Glen Clark and including MPs from the three federal parties now holding seats from B.C., has just reported on its province-wide hearings on the nine provincial premiers' recent Calgary declaration.
The panel has found that British Columbians, by a very large majority, support constitutional recognition of the status of the French civil law, the French language and the French culture within Quebec. British Columbians' constitutional recognition of Quebec as a unique society within our federal system flowed logically and inevitably from that by an equally large majority.
British Columbians have accepted Quebec as a unique society without demanding any constitutional quid pro quo or recognition of any B.C. special historical constitutional claims. They have made a unilateral gesture of goodwill to Quebec in an expression of faith in the future of a plural Canadian society within a plural Canadian federal system.
After 30 years it may be time now to close the constitutional files.