UA RG 355
Archives and Special Collections Department
Harriet Irving Library
University of New Brunswick
P. O. Box 7500
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Scope and content
Series 1, Administration records 1987-1990
Series 2, Briefs, presentations and speeches 1987-1990
Series 3, Reports, papers and other printed material 1978-[199-]
Administrative history: Formed in September 1987 following the House and Senate Joint Committee hearings on the Constitution Amendment 1987, the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution sought to raise public awareness of the implications of the Meech Lake Accord and to encourage informed participation in that debate. The Committee, a coalition of New Brunswick residents led by Elaine Wright, Anne Crocker, Willi Evans Wolfe and Max M. Wolfe, held public forums in Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John and Shippegan during the fall of 1987 to air concerns on the proposed constitutional amendments. The Committee was especially interested in ensuring that equality rights were guaranteed, a strong Canada was preserved, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories were treated equally, and that a national standard for social programmes was maintained.
The New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee worked to establish province-wide and country-wide networks of groups and organizations interested in discussing the Meech Lake issue. These networks included the provincial Ad Hoc Committees of Manitoba and Ontario and chapters of the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee located in Saint John and Moncton, as well as the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund Inc., and the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women. To promote its views, the New Brunswick Committee conducted a letter-writing campaign directed toward members of the Legislative Assembly, members of Parliament, and the print media and sponsored a conference on Meech Lake which was held in Moncton in April 1988.
In addition, the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee addressed government leaders directly on the Meech Lake issue. A number of interested individuals, organizations, and groups joined the New Brunswick Committee in submitting separate briefs to the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly's Select Committee on the 1987 Constitutional Amendment Act during its 1988-1989 winter hearings. The Committee also submitted a brief to The House of Commons Special Committee to Study the Proposed Companion Resolution to the Meech Lake Accord which travelled the country in 1990, but was refused the opportunity to appear before it. In early summer 1990, following release of the Parliamentary Special Committee's report, the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee wound down its activities, although public debate on Meech Lake continued for many months.
Scope and content: This fonds documents the activities of the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution in generating debate on the Constitution Amendment, 1987 (the Meech Lake Accord), both in New Brunswick and elsewhere in Canada during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In particular, it highlights the Committee's fund-raising and networking activities, letter-writing campaigns, and achievement in organizing and hosting a provincial conference on Meech Lake at Moncton in April 1988.
This fonds consists of 3 series:
1. Administration records
2. Briefs, presentations and speeches
3. Reports, papers and other printed material
It includes incoming and outgoing correspondence (letters, memos, faxes) and press releases, as well as briefs, speeches, and position statements prepared by the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee or other groups or individuals. It also includes Committee mailing lists, newspaper clippings, a Meech Lake bibliography, a promotional button, "We can afford a better accord = Un meilleur accord, c'est possible", and a blank postcard addressed to New Brunswick Premier Frank J. McKenna carrying images of flamingoes and the message, "Flamingoes all agree: Beech Meech".
Title: Based on contents of the fonds
Immediate Source of Acquisition: UNB Archives and Special Collections Department acquired this fond and the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation fonds (UA RG 354) from Anne Crocker, a member of the New Brunswick Ad Hoc Committee and a past president of the Foundation in August 1995.