By William P. Irvine
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Additional info for Does Canada Need a New Electoral System (Queen's Studies on the Future of the Canadian Communities, 1)
The last body was a tribunal, which would have binding powers to settle disputes; its composition was unspecified, though the agreement suggested that it might work like the dispute resolution panels under NAFTA. Perhaps the most remarkable elements of the 12 June agreement were its provisions on how the Canada-Quebec negotiations would be supervised. Obviously, there was some suspicion that the Government of Quebec, armed with a referendum mandate to declare sovereignty, might not negotiate in good faith to arrive at a partnership arrangement.
The official campaign would last four weeks from the dropping of the writ. Into the assembly, the government introduced Bill 1, An Act respecting the Future of Quebec. The long preamble to the bill consisted of the Declaration of Sovereignty, which had been assembled by a committee over the preceding months. The declaration appealed to history and common values, to future goals, and to the various communities comprising modern Quebec. It also contained a litany 25 The 1995 Referendum and the Yes That Wasn't of historic constitutional grievances (which might help legally to justify secession), and it led to three declarations: 1 We, the people of Quebec, declare that we are free to choose our future.
Meanwhile, citizens were mobilized. 130 But organizers concentrated on a massive demonstration in Montreal on the Friday before the referendum. Members of Parliament and many businesses arranged transport to the city, while the two major airlines and the railway offered drastically reduced fares. 131 But the rally drew well over 100,000 people to Place du Canada in downtown Montreal. 132 And Jean Charest, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, insisted that he would be a steady force pressing for constitutional renewal.