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CONSTN92.I06 = Letter to Joe Clark; 1992-09-06

                                                 604 des Fauvettes
                                                 Ste. Julie, Que. 
                                                 J3E IG1          

                                                 6 September, 1992

The Right Honourable Joe Clark,
Minister Responsible for the Constitution
Room 165 East Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear sir:
Thank you for your kind letter of 23 July, 1992 acknowledging receipt of the material I sent you. I must apologize in advance for the harshness of this letter.

I have read the latest constitutional proposals as reported in the 5 Sept., 1992 issue of the Montreal Gazette. I shall send detailed criticisms and suggestions at a later date. In the meantime, I shall comment on the three issues which make the proposals unacceptable: racism, chauvinism and illegitimacy of the process.

(1) Languages: Although the languages and cultures of the French, English and Aboriginal peoples are accorded rights and protection in the proposed constitution, this is not done for the other ethnic groups in Canada. This is racist and relegates me and a large fraction of Canadians to second class citizenship. Since you admit that you took note of my concerns on this issue, I must conclude that the Federal government and the provincial premiers omitted it deliberately and with malice aforethought.

The term "official" normally carries the connotation of "honorary". It should be used to refer to the many Aboriginal languages in Canada in recognition of their being the first peoples to inhabit this land. Its use in the phrase "official language minority communities" when referring to French and English has racist connotations implying that Canadians of French and English origin are accorded a higher status than those of other ethnic origins. [The term "official" should never have been used in the text of the 1982 Constitutional amendments or other federal statutes. Indeed, the issue should be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada and stricken from these texts.]

The appropriate term to use when referring to the French and English languages would be "working languages of the Federal government and its institutions". This term is neutral and recognizes the fact that French and English are the dominant languages of Canada which are utilized by the vast majority of Canadians. There should be no room for racism in the Canadian constitution.

I would strongly recommend that a clause such as "All ethnic groups comprising the Canadian identity have a right and are encouraged to practise and promote their languages and cultures, while integrating fully into Canadian society" be included in the proposed changes.

(2) Senate: In comparison to the proposals in my 12 page brief, the current proposals for the Triple-E Senate are inadequate. Although I feel that your "6 Senators per province" proposal is inferior to my "cube root of land area" formula, I am not unduly opposed to your solution except for two points.

The two halves of the North West Territories and the Yukon must have equal representation to the other provinces. With their huge land areas and sparse populations, this is the only means by which they can participate effectively in Confederation. It would be a pity, indeed, if the North were to be forced to consider options outside Canadian Confederation.

Secondly, the proposed 62 (or 78) Senators is far too few in relation to the proposed 337 Members of Parliament to be effective. Their number should either be doubled or the number of MPs halved.

I feel strongly that gender equality in the Senate should be entrenched in the constitution. Refusal to do so would be the height of male chauvinism. In my estimation, this would have profound beneficial effects on Canadian society, in particular, and the rest of the world, in general. It is a concept which should have been established centuries ago throughout all the countries of the planet. And it has nothing to do with "quotas" or "male patronizing attitudes".

(3) Illegitimacy of the process: I have presented my views on the constitutional process in section C of my 12 page brief of July 8, 1992. As far as I'm concerned, it has been one gigantic public relations campaign to brainwash people into accepting the proposals of the political elite and circumvent consideration of many real problems. I feel that it is crucial that the remainder of the process and all future constitutional amendments be removed from the political arena and placed in the hands of appropriately created constituent assemblies.

Rather disturbing concepts such as powers, rights and privileges of governments has crept into the proposals as if these entities (and the politicians and bureaucrats running them) are more important than the Canadian people they are meant to serve.

In conclusion, I must categorically state that, unless my concerns have been appropriately addressed, I will not be able to support the constitutional proposals on Oct 26, 1992.

Respectfully submitted

William Zuzak, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Email: [email protected]

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CONSTN92.I06 = Letter to Joe Clark; 1992-09-06
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