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Citizens of the Global Village Think About the Year Ahead : CANADA

January 01, 1991|Times correspondents asked a variety of ordinary citizens in different countries about their hopes and fears for 1991. Their answers ranged from the blatantly political to the guardedly personal

Jacques Jolicoeur, international affairs specialist in Quebec's provincial External Affairs Ministry and avowed Francophile.

"1991 will be an unusual and fantastic year for Quebec. The first quarter will be very interesting because many international experts will come and say publicly what the main tendencies are in Europe and other countries: What are the ways Europe is building up, what is the future of Eastern Europe, how is the U.S.S.R. going. At the moment, when we as Quebecois are asking ourselves whether we will stay in Canada, it will be most enlightening to hear these experts speak on the way they see things throughout the world.

"I think that there should be, and there will be, a referendum somewhere next fall about the way the people in Quebec wish to be in the future. It will be totally different (from Quebec's last referendum on whether to become a sovereign state, held in 1980) because in 1980 there were still many Canadian federalists who gave the Quebecois some dreams, some possibilities, of making some (acceptable) new political organization in Canada. And this is no longer believable.

"The question (in the referendum) would be: How do you see your future, as a province of Canada, or as a sovereign state with an economic arrangement with Canada?

"I think at this point Quebecers feel strong enough, and feel that it would be good for themselves and probably good for the other Canadians, to make a definition of themselves which is different from the one at the moment."

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