In Canada, a commission on national unity made its report to the Ottawa parliament on Thursday (25 January) after spending eighteen months studying the question of independence for the province of Quebec.
CU Canadian prime Minister Pierre Trudeau entering government chamber in Ottawa
SV Trudeau applauded by House
SV Trudeau addressing House
CU Opposition Progressive Conservative Party leader Joe Clark receives applause
CU Clark speaking (THREE SHOTS)
CU New Democrat leader Ed Broadbent speaking
HOLTON: "Prime Minister Trudeau said he was pleased that the Task Force generally supports government language policies and while he indicated disagreement with some of its recommendations, he praised the report's federalist position and its acceptance of entrenching basic rights in the constitution."
TRUDEAU: "Although the government for its part will want to study the specific recommendations carefully and take issue with some of them, I can tell you now that the government accepts the broad lines of the Task Force analysis of the problem and endorses the basic principles which it believes should underlie the renewal of the Canadian federation."
HOLTON: "Opposition leader Joe Clark was more enthusiastic in praising the report. He seen its conclusions in tune with the tory call for more decentralisation and repudiating liberal policies on national unity."
CLARK: "The Task Force report confirms the view that for some time now the constitutional policy of the cental government has been dramatically out of step with reality in this country. This government has resisted regional aspirations when they should have embraced those aspirations. They have concentrated political power when some of that power should have been dispersed. They have been so pre-occupied with their intellectual view of what Canada should be that they have ignored what this nation is."
HOLTON: "New Democrat leader, Ed Broadbent also praised the Task Force report and said its main conclusions were in line with NDP policy."
BROADBENT: "I find it refreshing Mr Speaker in this context, to note that the Task Force recognises that the problem of national unity is not simply a constitutional matter, and recognises that the development of a national economy for the benefit of a ll Canadians in all parts of the country, is a crucial element in keeping us united as a people."
REPORTER: DAVID HOLTON
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Background: In Canada, a commission on national unity made its report to the Ottawa parliament on Thursday (25 January) after spending eighteen months studying the question of independence for the province of Quebec. The eight-man committee, known as the Task Force, was set up after Quebec's regional government announced it would take the province out of the Canadian federation. Among the seventy-five recommendations, the report suggested that Quebec should be allowed to decide democratically whether to secede and said the Federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau should not use force to keep the province within the Canadian federation. The Task Force findings met with a mixed reaction from the leaders of the main political parties. David Holton of CBC followed the debate.