Canada So What's the Problem, Eh?

The country's French-English identity -- and possibly its unity -- is at stake as a deadline looms for the Meech Lake accord

Canada's long-running confederation soap opera headed for a cliff-hanger finale last week. In the hardscrabble Atlantic province of Newfoundland, 52 provincial legislators hurriedly canvassed their constituents on whether to accept a constitutional agreement hashed out by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the country's ten provincial premiers a week earlier. In the prairie province of Manitoba, Elijah Harper, a Cree Indian and member of the legislative assembly, repeatedly blocked debate on the same ratification issue. The clock was ticking: if either legislature fails to approve the agreement by June 23, a delicate compromise over Quebec's place in Canada could shatter, leading, in...

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