19 July 2017

In a series of op-eds published in LaPresse+, 2013 fellow and professor of law at Université de Montréal Jean Leclair presents his vision of federalism as a vehicle to promote freedom and citizen participation. He argues that federalism also allows citizens to fight against certain nationalist political projects by voting, at the federal and provincial levels, for parties which are in oppose them.

Leclair also thinks that “it is indubitable that Indigenous peoples areconstituent peoples” of the federal Canadian state, in that Canada would have never seen the light of day without them and in that they continue to play an important role as a collective political actor.” He insists that Indigenous communities’ must receive acknowledgement of their right to real self-governance. He believes that the solutions that are most successful are those that allow Indigenous peoples to grow collectively, notably the James Bay Convention. While acknowledging their importance as nations, he also points out that Indigenous nations, like the Canadian or Quebecois nations, are not indistinct masses of unanimous or interchangeable individuals.

Jean Leclair

Recognized as the foremost expert of federalism in Canada, he turns a critical eye on the political relationships between peoples and governments and is developing a theory of federalism that takes into account the desire for autonomy of the Quebec and Aboriginal nations. Jean Leclair is Administrator of the Alumni Society of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

2013 Fellows