November 13, 2013 3:49 pm
Updated: November 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Quebec Charter ‘troubling development’: Joe Clark


Watch the interview with the Right Honourable Joe Clark

MONTREAL – Former Prime Minister Joe Clark referred to Quebec’s proposed Charter of Values as “a troubling development” and an initiative that could change the reputation of Quebec in the rest of the country.

Clark made the comments during an interview on Global Montreal Morning News.

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In Montreal to promote his latest book, How We Lead: Canada in a Century Of Change, Canada’s 16th Prime Minister insisted that it was not the time to “re-heat old tensions.”

In his book, Clark argues that Canada should play more to its natural strengths as a successful manager of diversity and force for negotiation and conflict resolution.

Citing examples of how his government was pro-active on issues such as apartheid in South Africa and pro-democracy violence in China, Clark clearly believes Canada should implicate itself more in international affairs and, in particular, with poor nations.

He argues the impact of terrorism will be most devastating in emerging countries where poverty, discrimination and desperation are most acute and where achieving change peacefully will pose the greatest challenge.

He commented on Stephen Harper’s unprecedented accumulation of personal power, pointing out that the Prime Minister, more than any other Canadian leader in the half-century Clark has been involved with cabinets and ministers, has taken unrelenting control of government reins.

Asked to comment on the current Senate spending scandal, Clark called it “tragic”, adding he’s sorry it happened and expressing worry the suspension of Senators could eventually prompt future Prime Ministers to wield even more power over the Senate.

In his book and in his interview, Clark reflected on the 1979 Ken Taylor episode, using his government’s immediate decision to help the five Americans in Tehran as an illustration of the depth of friendship between Canada and the United States.

The only person to defeat Pierre Trudeau in a federal election, Clark said that it remains to be seen whether Justin Trudeau will be judged on his own strengths.

The former Prime Minister expressed hope the Liberal leader will be given the opportunity to stand on his own policies, positions and merit.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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