Thirty years later they are still at it: the grievance nursers, the unity warners, the federalism renewers and the statesman solvers and the whole shambling constitutional industry, still rolling, still meeting, still funded. Still.
There are people approaching their fifties who were not old enough to vote when the Queen signed the Constitution Act 1982 into law, snipping the last legislative strings tying the Constitution of Canada to the Parliament of Britain, entrenching a homegrown process of amendment within it, adding a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and much else.
After several decades of failed attempts, this ought to have been a moment for great national celebration - as it should be now, on its 30th anniversary. But that is to reckon without this country's capacity for pointless politicization, sterile debates and perpetual indignation. And so the only people who will be marking the occasion, aside from a little gathering of Liberals in Toronto, will be the ones most convinced the country suffered some terrible calamity with patriation that they alone can put right: the constitutional industry, again.