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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada, The Canadian Club of Toronto and The Canadian Journalism Foundation.
Only one public debate currently under way that is a direct threat to the unity of Canada: the debate over Quebec. Differences of opinion as the very foundation of the democratic system. The development of democracy; the development of the news media. The speaker prepared to admit that the media are at least part of the unity problem. The natural and human tendency of journalists to single out sensational remarks. A story to illustrate this tendency. The factors of the physical constraints of space or airtime. For television, a picture that often adds to the sensationalism. The major role played by news directors, editors-in-chief and assignment editors. The real problem that the media put all their efforts and resources into covering the very people who accentuate the divisions between Canadians: the politicians. The speaker's belief that in general, we are wrong to concentrate our efforts on parliaments instead of on our country and Canadians. New ways to report on events across Canada chosen by La Presse by sending journalists to different parts of the country to write in-depth articles. A closer look at the responsibility of the media with respect to the debate on the unity issue; both the Quebec media and the media in the other provinces. The speaker's conviction that the media can again be part of the solution if they are provided with the opportunity to do so. The referenda of 1980 and 1995. The speaker's belief that if Canadians are willing to demonstrate a little sensitivity and open-mindedness, it is possible to settle this dispute; his conviction that most French-speaking Quebeckers do not want to break up Canada, a country they still consider their own. What we can do to avoid the worst-case scenario. Change as the real solution to the Quebec-Canada impasse. A desire by the media in Quebec and across the country to act in a responsible and ethical manner with respect to the unity issue. High time we settled this question. The speaker's fear that a third referendum would have the French-speaking federalists voting YES, for better or for worse, to settle the matter once and for all.