Authors: Reuven Brenner
Publication: La Presse, IRRP
In its first paragraph, the draft bill of the Quebec government, tabled on December 7, 1994 in the National Assembly, declares that "Quebec is a sovereign country."
In the next paragraphs the bill indicates ways in which constitutional, territorial and legal issues, as well as those linked with currency and international alliances would be settled in case of separation. Paragraph 15 states:
"The Government may conclude, with the Government of Canada, any agreement relating to the apportionment of the property and debts of Canada, and to any other matter susceptible of facilitating the application of this Act."
Yet of all the problems raised by the prospect of Quebec's possible secession one of the most important, if not the most important, is exactly the one buried in this paragraph, namely the question how an independent Quebec would assume responsibility for its share of Canada's public debt and at what price.
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