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The World

October 28, 1987

Canada's House of Commons voted 242-16 in favor of a constitutional accord that for the first time recognizes the mostly French province of Quebec as "a distinct society." The accord makes several important changes in Canada's constitution. In addition to the "distinct society" provision, which gives Quebec special language rights, the accord grants all the provinces a veto over major constitutional changes and a say in the appointment of senators and Supreme Court judges, including a guarantee that three of the nine justices must come from Quebec. It also enables provinces to receive federal compensation if they choose to opt out of national programs and provide comparable services of their own.

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