Citizen's Forum on National Unity
The Citizen's Forum on National Unity was a commission established in November 1990 by the Governor General of Canada, on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. It was more commonly known as the Spicer Commission, after its chairperson, Keith Spicer.
In the wake of the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the federal government made a decision to reach out to citizens by means of a public commission. Its purpose was to discuss the political future of Canada, in response to a perception that the country's unity was being threatened by linguistic and regional divisions. The Spicer Commission held town hall meetings across the country and solicited input from Canadians on the future of the Canada.
The Commission's report was released in June 1991. The Commission noted that: many Canadians were willing to recognize Quebec's cultural and linguistic differences but not to grant the province special powers that might weaken the central government; most Canadians saw official bilingualism as divisive and costly; the education system and media had not done enough to promote national knowledge; Canadians regarded cutbacks to federal institutions as insensitive to national symbols; and many Canadians had a lack of faith in government leaders and the political process. Also notable was Spicer's comment that there was "a fury in the land" against Mulroney.
Some of the report's contents were subsequently used in the development of the Charlottetown Accord.
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- Colombo, John Robert. Canadian Global Almanac. Toronto: Global Press, 1992.