QUEBEC CITY : Consensus Elusive

A panel meant to help decide whether the province of Quebec should remain in Canada is to report its findings by Thursday, but with the deadline near, delegates have had a hard time reaching consensus.

The so-called Belanger-Campeau commission has seemed publicly to tilt toward sovereignty for the French-speaking province. But among themselves delegates have been wrangling over whether and when to let Quebecers vote on independence from Canada, and over how to word the question in such a referendum.

While the governing Liberal Party of Quebec has already come out in favor of a radical restructuring of Canada, party leader and provincial Premier Robert Bourassa has said he may reconsider depending on what the Belanger-Campeau commissioners recommend.

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