A Statement of Principles for a New Constitution

Priorities for a New Canadian Constitution, Tabled by the Government of Canada in the House of Commons June 10, 1980 [Extract, June 10, 1980 Hansard, page 1977 - Pierre Elliott Trudeau tabling]

We, the People of Canada, proudly proclaim that we are and shall always be, with the help of God, a free and self-governing people.

Born of a meeting of the English and French presence on North American soil which had long been the home of our Native Peoples, and enriched by the contribution of millions of people from the four corners of the earth, we have chosen to create a life together which [transcends] the differences of blood relationships, language and religion, and willingly accept the experience of sharing our wealth and cultures, while respecting our diversity.

We have chosen to live together in one [sovereign] country, a true federation, conceived as a constitutional monarchy and founded on democratic principles.

Faithful to our history, and united by a common desire to give new life and strength to our federation, we are resolved to create together a new constitution which:

Shall be conceived and adopted in Canada,

Shall reaffirm the official status of the French and English languages in Canada, and the diversity of cultures within Canadian Society,

Shall enshrine our fundamental freedoms, our basic civil, human and language rights, including the right to be educated in one's own language, French or English, where numbers warrant, and the rights of our Native Peoples, and

Shall define the authority of Parliament and of the Legislative Assemblies of our several provinces.

We further declare that our Parliament and provincial Legislatures, our various governments and their agencies shall have no other purpose than to strive for the happiness and fulfillment of each and all of us.

Last HTML revision: 2 November, 1995.

William F. Maton