Letter from René Lévesque to Pierre Elliott Trudeau
If it pleases the Supreme Court to consecrate by judicial order this late-night agreement that was signed just over a year ago between Canada's Anglophone governments and your own, so be it. But I must inform you that the Canada Bill is nevertheless essentially unlawful, and consequently absolutely unacceptable in the eyes of Quebec, its government, and I am convinced, in the eyes of the vast majority of Quebeckers. As a result, it would be impossible for any government worthy of this title in Quebec to accept such a draconian and unilateral reduction in the powers of our National Assembly, and to have an amending formula that provides absolutely no real protection for the future forced upon it.
The National Assembly already stated in December 1981, the conditions under which this British constitutional law would be acceptable. First of all, the constitutional law must recognize not only the equality of the country's two founding peoples, but also the distinctive character of the Quebec society. Secondly, in order to ensure the development of this society, the amending formula of the Canadian Constitution must provide Quebec a general veto power or an opting out formula along with financial compensation in any event [...]. Finally, any Canadian Charter of Rights should not in any way be able to modify the legislative jurisdiction of the National Assembly, particularly where it concerns the language of instruction, the freedom of movement and the freedom of establishment.
December 17, 1982
DENIS, Roch (File compiled by). Québec : dix ans de crise constitutionnelle, Montréal, vlb éditeur, 1990, Coll. Études québécoises, p. 62