Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday March 10, 2006
Dawn of a new era?
Quebec and Ottawa are close to an agreement that will allow the province to have a voice at UNESCO, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday in emphasizing his government’s “open federalism” policy toward Quebec.
For the first time in 22 years, a Canadian prime minister met with a Quebec premier at the National Assembly in what Premier Jean Charest dubbed the beginning of a new era of federal-provincial co-operation. It was the third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Harper’s government was sworn in.
An agreement on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization carries great symbolic meaning for the Quebec government in its bid to prove that Mr. Harper’s proposals for renewing federalism can work in the province’s favour.
“Mr. Charest and I have agreed to task our respective ministers to move forward on ensuring that Quebec’s voice be heard at UNESCO,” Mr. Harper said at the conclusion of a two-hour meeting. “There are a couple of proposals on the table. And as I say, we are flexible and very optimistic we are going to reach a solution sooner rather than later.” (Source: Globe & Mail)