The call from the Prime Minister’s Office in March 1982 came as things were not going well for the Liberal opposition in Newfoundland and Labrador. Premier Brian Peckford had called a snap “referendum” election for April 6, seeking to wrest management of offshore oil from Pierre Trudeau’s government in Ottawa. The caller enthusiastically told me the Constitution would be repatriated and signed by Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa on April 4. “It’s perfect timing,” said the PMO caller, “Your candidates will get votes when Peckford has to sit and watch the PM sign beside the Queen.”
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