William Johnson

Bill Johnson

On behalf of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity


I. How the Chrétien Government Bungled the 1995 Referendum

II. How the Chrétien Government Bungled the 1996-98 Reference

III. The Clarity Act Undermined. The Right to a UDI Legislated

IV. The Quebec Superior Court Bungles Its Decision on Bill 99

Conclusion: The Rule of Law is Systematically Sidelined When Secession is the Issue

Canada’s paradox: We are a country where the second-largest province denies the legitimacy of our Constitution – our fundamental law -- even after it was certified in 1982 by the Supreme Court of Canada. We are a country where the Quebec Superior Court, in a decision rendered in April, denounced virulently the Clarity Act, intended to implement the advisory opinion rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Reference on the Secession of Quebec. The same Quebec Superior Court praised to the skies a law passed by a separatist government in Quebec that, on the face of it, asserts Quebec’s right to secede unilaterally.

William Johnson Biography

William Denis Hertel Johnson, son of William Martin Johnson of the Eastern Townships and of Franco-Ontarian Églantine Levert, studied at Montreal’s Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (cours classique) and Loyola College (B.A.). He then entered the Jesuit order where he remained for 10 years, studying for the priesthood.

He studied philosophy at Toronto’s Regis College (Ph.L) and French literature at the Université de Montréal (M.A.), then sociology at the University of Toronto and the University of California at Berkeley (pre-doctoral studies, not completed). He taught sociology at the University of Manitoba and the University of Toronto, before beginning a career in journalism at the Globe and Mail in 1967.

He was stationed by the Globe, first in Toronto, then in Montreal, then in Ottawa in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, then in Quebec City at the National Assembly, then back in Montreal, then in Washington D.C. with a White House Press Pass.

He returned to the press gallery in Ottawa as national correspondent for the Montreal Gazette in 1987, then became a free-lancer in 1996. He won several prizes in journalism, including the National Newspaper Award for columns (and was twice more a finalist), the Southam President’s $10,000 prize and he shared with Max and Monique Nemni the $15,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing in 2006 for the book, Young Trudeau, 1919-1944. Son of Quebec and Father of Canada.

William Johnson is a member of the Order of Canada and of the Order of Gatineau.