22 June 2010

Today in history

June 22, 1990.

The Meech Lake Accord died.

In Manitoba, Elijah Harper refused to give the consent needed to bring the Accord to the floor of the legislature for debate.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, and after a last-minute effort at further manipulation by the Mulroney administration in Ottawa, Clyde Wells spoke at length in the House of Assembly before adjourning debate on the Accord.

Some predicted the country would fall apart.

It didn’t.

The finger pointing continues to this day, as Deborah Coyne concluded her memoir of the affair: Roll of the diceBrian Mulroney’s 2007 memoir is full of vitriol and a unhealthy dose of misrepresentation about the Accord debate.

Jean-Francois Lisee used exactly the same sort of fabrications as Mulroney to begin his blog series on the 20th anniversary of the Accord’s demise. Then again, the premise of the Accord was a fabrication, a falsehood, a blatant lie so it’s really not all that surprisingly that some of its proponents still rely on falsehood to argue for their case.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the universe, Gil Remillard, Quebec’s intergovernmental affairs minister at the time thinks:

<<L'entente du lac Meech aura servi à préparer le terrain et 20 ans après, on se rend compte que maintenant, nous faisons beaucoup de choses comme on voulait que ça soit fait lorsqu'on a discuté de Meech.>>

For the most part, though, only a few people in the country have even noticed the anniversary slip by.