Privy Council Office

Privy Council Office

March 03, 2005 10:16 ET

Privy Council Office: The Honourable Lucienne Robillard Advocates Flexible, Partnership-Driven Federalism



MARCH 3, 2005 - 10:16 ET

Privy Council Office: The Honourable Lucienne
Robillard Advocates Flexible, Partnership-Driven

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(CCNMatthews - March 3, 2005) - Speaking at the third
International Conference on Federalism, the Honourable Lucienne
Robillard, President of the Privy Council and Minister of
Intergovernmental Affairs, stated that a happy balance between unity and
diversity makes federalism the formula best adapted to the needs and
aspirations of Canadians.

"If I had to highlight one reason for Canada's success,, it would be the
flexible an evolving nature of our federalism, and the pragmatic way it
is put into practice," stated the Minister. Noting that productive
cooperation among governments within the federation must be based first
and foremost on mutual respect, Ms Robillard also stressed the need to
forge a partnership, which means pooling expertise and resources to
achieve common objectives. One of the challenges of that cooperation,
the Minister added, lies in seeking greater accountability by
governments to citizens.

Ms Robillard then stated that the asymmetric approach advocated by the
Government of Canada toward its partners means developing flexible means
to achieve common goals. She said she is confident that the debate on
sharing financial resources will result in a positive solution, provided
there is a capacity for compromise and mututal respect on all sides.
With respect to the provinces' role on the international scene, the
Minister stated that "the active participation of the provinces is
essential for Canada to address effectively the domestic implications of
international issues. As such, federalism must be seen as a tool for
strengthening Canada's
voice in the world."

In conclusion, the Minister pointed out that all Canadians are united by
a host of common values reflected in federalism. "By uniting these
different elements, Canada has been able to progress, prosper and assume
its destiny as a nation. I believe this makes federalism a system well
adapted to major universal ideals, and to the issues of our time and our
Canadian reality," Ms Robillard concluded.

This document is available on the Intergovernmental Affairs Web site at
the following address:


Contact Information

    Office of the Honourable Lucienne Robillard
    Michael O'Shaughnessy
    Director of Communications
    (613) 943-1838
    (613) 943-5553 (FAX)