Ottawa — Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has rejected an offer by a group of Canadian provincial premiers to meet again to discuss new approaches to the disputed constitutional reforms sought by Mr. Trudeau's government, Monitor contributor David Milne reports.
"I really don't take them seriously," said Mr. Trudeau, in New York April 3 for a gala arts performance. He added, "We've got to move on" with the effort to install a new governing charter for Canada.
The rejection added new tension to the controversary over constitutional change that is fast assuming the proportions of a national crisis.
The premiers' offer was the latest in a series of pressure tactics being brought to bear by those who want Mr. Trudeau to delay the reform process. Eight of Canada's 10 premiers and the opposition Progressive Conservatiusu Party want the Liberal government to stop until Canada's Supreme Court has time to rule on the legality of Mr. Trudeau's proposals for a new constitution. To impede the reform process, the Conservatives have tied up Parliament with a 10 -day filibuster.
Early April 3, dissident premiers announced they had hammered out an alternative constitutional plan of their own. They are to arrive here April 16 in hopes of breaking the impasse on the issue between them and Mr. Trudeau. But Mr. Trudeau said it was too late. "What's new?" he said when told of this latest offer from the eight premiers.