Magazine article Personnel Journal

HR Keeps Workers Calm during Quebec Referendum

Magazine article Personnel Journal

HR Keeps Workers Calm during Quebec Referendum

Article excerpt

FOR WEEKS, DEBATE ABOUT AN INDEPENDENT QUEBEC raged throughout the province, and indeed, throughout Canada. On October 30, citizens of Quebec voted "no" on a referendum to decide whether Quebec would secede from the rest of Canada. The vote was close. While 50.6% of the population voted against Quebec sovereignty, 49.4% voted for it.

At issue was whether Quebec's distinct French roots should be recognized politically and socially. U.S. President Clinton expects continued close ties with a united Canada, and believes Quebec's ethnic diversity will serve as its "greatest strength," said Mike McCurry, Clinton's spokesperson. "The president has often said that our ethnic diversity in America is one source of our strength as we look ahead to the 21st Century, and hopefully will be for the people of Canada as well," added McCurry.

The referendum, the greatest threat to Canadian unity since the nation was formed in 1867, caused jitters throughout the business community. Before the vote, workers and management throughout Quebec struggled with the potential outcome. …

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