By the mid 80's Canada was ready for change and a coalition of nationalist Francophone forces in Quebec and Western Canadian Conservatives united to unseat the Liberals from many of their traditional strongholds and take power Federally. Although the government had changed, the problems and challenges remained roughly the same and the applied solutions not appreciably different. The country still struggled with the separatist movement in Quebec and increasing deficits Federally. Attempts were made at settling the outstanding issues and questions concerning the constitution and federal provincial relations but these formalized accords, and agreements all failed to pass the tests set for them. The most fundamental change in Canada US relations in generations was institutionalized in the form of the NAFTA or North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Conservative party, which had lost touch with power, struggled through its years in power under the iron handed leadership of Brian Mulroney but by the end of it's second term, the party was spinning apart with various segments marching off in different directions, The Quebec nationalists stung by the rejection of Meech Lake and the Charlotte town accords, returned to the separatists fold. The right wing conservatives split off to eventually form a new party, (the Reform Party) and liberal conservatives were drawn back into the Liberal party fold leaving the Progressive Conservatives divided, confused and of little threat to the Liberals.