Back On Track

After the constitutional referendum, the threat of national disintegration has dissipated. A TIME panel of experts sees a dramatically different future ahead.

FOR 30 YEARS, CANADA HAS projected a puzzling image to the world: a wealthy and comfortable nation that keeps warring peaceably with itself. During all that time, the French-speaking province of Quebec demanded additional powers to preserve its language and unique culture, while separatist pressure, generated by the Parti Quebecois, threatened breakaway if the demands were frustrated. The nine mostly English-speaking provinces were often resentful of Quebec's push for special status but eager to defend their own vision of the union. In one failed constitutional negotiation after another, doomsayers declared that the country's future was at stake. From afar, the country...

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