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Canadian leaders sit down to draft a constitution

The premiers of Canada's 10 provinces gathered Monday for the opening of a landmark constitutional conference to agree on a basic charter for the nations. Since 1867, when Canadian federation was set up under the British North American Act, Canadians have not agreed on a document that would legislate how centralized the nation should be while accommodating two cultures, British and French. But Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has vowed to act alone in recovering control of the constitution -- so-called repatriation -- by the end of the year if the 10 heads of the provinces do not make progress at the five-day conference.

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