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The patriation of the Constitution to Canada in 1982 was carried out with the agreement of the Federal government and all of the provinces except Quebec. The last minute kitchen agreement which was worked out by Jean Chretien, Roy Romanov and Roy McMurtry had left Quebec out of the process and Rene Levesque's separatist Quebecoise government left the talks feeling betrayed.

With the election of a Progressive Conservative government Federally and a Liberal government provincially, the time seemed opportune to try and bring Quebec into Confederation as a full partner and seek general consensus with all provinces for that revised partnership.

The Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa was willing to pursue an agreement but proposed two parts of a new deal which would be required in order for Quebec to sign on. The first part was the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society in Canada and that fact should be accepted as a basic characteristic of Canada. The second part of the deal required would be the provinces participation in the Federal Supreme Court nominations and in the process of choosing Senators for the Federal Senate. In addition to these concessions, Quebec demanded the right to reject participation in Federal Government programs but receiving the funds intended for the Quebec part of the program. Prime Minister Mulroney, who had become quite cozy with Quebec Nationalists, felt that his government could give in on those points in order to reach a deal and officially bring Quebec into the new Confederation. 

The amending formula for the Canadian Constitution, as it was patriated in 1982 required that all 10 provinces agree to any changes in the system within 3 years of the proposed changes. The provinces sensing that they would be gaining quite a bit from the agreement and losing noting began to process of approval and 8 quickly assented with only Manitoba and Newfoundland remaining. Manitoba required 100% of all of its provincial legislative members in order to approve the agreement but one f the members, Elijah Harper, a native, objected to the lack of recognition of native rights in the agreement. Quebec also had a rocky relationship with many of it's native groups. Harper voted against the Meech Lake Accord and killed Manitoba's approval. In a panicked move to resurrect the Accord, Mulroney offered to extend the deadline for approval but second thoughts had also seeped into the Newfoundland governments feelings toward the Accord and their Premier decided that Newfoundland would not event vote on the Accord.

Meech lake was effectively dead and that round of constitutional negotiations had failed.