Business Fights Quebec Split

Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau is at odds with top business leaders as the battle heats up over the Oct. 30 referendum on sovereignty. On Oct. 3, Laurent Beaudoin, CEO of aerospace conglomerate Bombardier Inc., warned hundreds of Montreal executives that a oui vote would have "disastrous consequences" for Quebec's economy. Parizeau retorted that Beaudoin and other "apostles of apocalypse" are scaring people to maintain Quebec's "colonial" status. But business is scoring heavily in the debate. Polls show that Quebeckers, who in mid-September were evenly split, now oppose sovereignty 55% to 45%.