Preston Manning Has A Bad Idea  ! 

Mr. Manning penned an article in the National Post recently concerning proposing the ‘Regions ‘ concept , an idea he would like to see endorsed by a future Canadian Government. I suppose he is eager to see Poilievre adopt this idea . Perhaps he is acting for Poilievre to test the waters before he , Poilievre . becomes PM. From all reports he is firmly with Poilievre .

Of course,  having a given Federal Government or Federal Parliament endorse anything these days is the kiss of death.  And it can easily be changed by successive governments or parliaments. So little of value there.

Manning  is way off the mark.

First and foremost,  we must address the covid mess. The Government of Canada ( and all the Provinces and Territories) has done its part to abuse our constitution and cause undue harm. Many including me are still fighting in the courts for justice. Those responsible must be brought to Justice. The Inquiry that Manning led in Alberta is a white wash of what needs to happen . And the National Citizens Inquiry got in to trouble over Manning’s  ethics violations. And has had a serious rupture since. Sadly, some honest people got wrapped up in that exercise. I still don’t see any audited financials on their revamped site .

Mr. Manning  still does not get it that integrity and honesty must come first.

The next action is to make Political Parties and Parliaments honest .

So, secondly, have his friend Poilievre propose an amendment to the Conflict of Interest Act such that an MP who  breaks the law cannot serve in the House of Commons. I have written Mr. Poilievre but I am only a small fish and thus have been ignored . But big fish Manning might be able to cozy up to THE LEADER and who knows ???The Conservative Party in its latest convention failed to do this.

Thirdly,  Mr.Manning can also impress upon THE LEADER that the Conservative Party should publish on the Party’s website annual audited financial statements  —let the people know where the money comes from and where the money goes. The Party collects and spends millions of dollars a year.  And why not have a designated period at annual conventions where the budget is presented and members able to question the Party brass. Now that’s democracy.

Fourth. Then there is the business of Parliamentary Government vs Executive Government and Courts infringing on policy.  . The PM ‘s office has become too powerful and the Parliament too weak. Note the SNC Lavalin Affair. The Courts have abused the Constitution, many recent decisions attest.

These are immediate issues that have to be changed if our democracy is to be restored.

My Magna Carta on my blog ( deals with many more.

Proposing some “ regions ‘ concept through the Federal Government is a non starter.  Note the following:


Manning needs to read The Constitution Act of 1867 and 1982!

The Political Structure of this country can only be changed through the Constitution. Trudeau Sr tried to do Federal Action and got rebuked by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1981. The Federal Government is not the National Government .

D. Manning begins the article with ‘  Canada is a nation of regions.’

You can describe it how you like but constitutionally it is a Federation composed of a Federal  Government and ten Provincial Governments sharing power, Sections 91 and 92 of The Constitution Act 1867.  That is the reality

Manning mentions ‘with the co-operation of the Provinces ‘ only once in the article.  And this is vague —

Any attempt to diminish the  power or influence of individual Provinces , which is  likely under a ‘regions ‘ recognition, threatens the integrity of our Constitutional arrangement. There is already too much overreach as we see in the courts and the Federal Government’s encroachment in the areas of the environment and taxation.  This sounds like the World Economic Forum in miniature—reduce the power of individual constitutionally existing units through the back door. Such Federal action is misguided , unconstitutional and wrong.

Near the end of the article Manning demonstrates his lack of appreciation of our Federal system when he says :

“And thus the question: Could not official recognition of the regional character of Canada by the next federal government, and the fashioning of a pro-active but conditional response to the distinctive concerns and aspirations of each as suggested above, turn what has previously been a divisive national liability into a unifying asset for Canada as a whole?”

This is a National  issue not a Federal one . It would require a Constitutional Action, a majority of Provinces and the Federal Government in a very structured process.

One of the great achievements of the Constitution Act of 1982 was the Amending Formula that had evaded leaders from the 1920’s to the 1980’s.

Canada can now amend its own Constitution without any reference to the UK . It can mold what it wants.

So I suggest to Mr.Manning  that if he is eager to assist in a more functional Canada he begin with the covid mess, then with a more honest and more democratic federal parliament and Government and reformed Courts and then The Constitution which must involve the Provinces and The Federal  Government .

This is available in an already established constitutional  procedure called The Amending Formula , Section 38 of the Constitution Act 1982.

Throwing bandaids at a massive National Wound by potentially further abusing our Constitution is clearly not an option.

Hon A. Brian Peckford P.C. Sent from my iPad