Feds not interested in Quebec’s plan to reopen Constitution: Trudeau

The Canadian flag flies over Parliament. Justin Tang / The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is throwing cold water on the Quebec government’s plan to reopen the constitutional debate.

READ MORE: Quebec plans to reopen constitutional debate, launch coast to coast discussion

The prime minister is responding to a Canadian Press report that Quebec is embarking on a broad national discussion in the coming months in the hopes of having the province’s distinct character officially recognized.

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Premier Philippe Couillard is to announce his plan Thursday, but Trudeau – arriving on Parliament Hill for a cabinet meeting in Ottawa – is already dismissing it as a non-starter.

READ MORE: Premier Philippe Couillard wants Quebec to sign Constitution

He says he has no plans to reopen the Constitution.

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The Canadian Press obtained a copy of Couillard’s thinking on Quebec’s place within Canada, a 200-page founding document entitled, “Quebecers: Our Way of Being Canadians.”

READ MORE: Quebec asks Ottawa for Constitution documents

The document states the famous “five conditions” for approval first set out by former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa in 1986: recognition of Quebec as a distinct society, limits on federal spending power, guaranteed Quebec representation on the Supreme Court, a constitutional veto right and increased control over immigration.

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