Between the evening of November 3 and the morning of November 4, 1981, critical decisions were made that led to the repatriation of the Constitution and the Charter of Rights.
The "Night of the Long Knives," as it has become known, was the culmination of more than a decade of constitutional debates triggered in large measure by the advent of Quebec nationalism, the electoral triumph of the Parti Québécois, and the first referendum. It also coincided with the rise of some of the most powerful premiers in Canadian history, formidable men who were pressing for a more decentralized federation. And, of course, it is about the struggle between them and Pierre Trudeau.
What happened that night remains a very hot political button in Quebec, while the impact of the Charter and the Notwithstanding Clause were significant issues in our most recent election. Thirty years on, with many of the key participants still alive, The Last Act gives this remarkable event a full dramatic historical narrative to establish what really took place that night.