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Police in Quebec say a fire at a seniors' residence in Quebec has left eight dead and 24 missing.

All the News of the World: Monitor

North American verdicts on the provincial government elections in Quebec, Canada

Leading Article: Vive les Quebecois! Scotland for aye!

TODAY THE people of Quebec go to the polls, and the signs are that they will elect the separatist Parti Quebecois to rule their province again. That does not mean that they are ready to vote to break away from Canada, but independence must be a real prospect - this time. It is only three years since they voted by a margin of just 1.2 per cent to stay in the Canadian federation, but if the PQ can make a success of provincial government why should they not vote differently for a millennial new beginning in, say, 2000?

Quebec vote brings separation closer

THE DREAM of an independent nation of Quebec seems certain to be revived today as voters in this giant province go to the polls in an election that is predicted to hand a huge victory to the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois.

Quebec denied right to quit Canada

CANADA'S SUPREME Court tossed a hand grenade into the rancorous debate over the French-speaking province of Quebec yesterday. The court ruled that the Quebecois have no unilateral right to secede, but must negotiate their way out of the confederation if they wish to go.

Fosse Park deal

PILLAR PROPERTY, the property investment group, has formed an unit trust to buy two Fosse Park properties for pounds 205.5m.

Letter: Finger of blame

MICHAEL BYWATER'S column(Review, 15 February) tells a horrifying story. I share his feelings about human nature when I read frequent stories about child abuse, serial murderers or paedophile rings. But it happens everywhere and so why condemn a whole country? Mr Bywater implies that women are not protected by law and are easy preys for abusers in Quebec. This is false. Quebec has been at the forefront of women's rights protection laws for more than 25 years.Marie-Claire's story is dreadful and everyone will wish punishment for all those involved. But it is wrong to blame Quebec.

Quebec waits

Quebec waits

Quebec, a fine place for psychopaths

QUEBEC. A LITTLE after Christmas. And when the ice storm broke, Marie-Claire had been awake for four days and nights, writing for her life. Sleeplessness and terror lent a glittering, fragmented urgency to her words, because Benny was standing over her and she knew that, as soon as she stopped typing, he would kill her.

Quebec goes in search of new (French-speaking) blood

Give me your huddled masses, yearning to have jobs and wide open spaces. Must be young, French-speaking and well-educated. Knowledge of ice-hockey an advantage.

Blood, guts and a nice line in serial killers

She may look like an Avon lady, but Kathy Reichs spends her time cutting up dead bodies. Ann Treneman meets the pathologist turned bestselling thriller writer.

Letter: Bishops are not fat cats

NORMAN BAKER, MP for Middlesbrough, has taken a lead in efforts to reduce the costs of supporting bishops. I presume, therefore, that he will take an immediate pay cut to pounds 21,760, the reported stipend for a suffragan bishop. There are far more MPs in England than bishops, so the savings to be had are far greater.

Montreal struggles out of a modern-day ice age

Eastern Canada is slowly returning to normal after a huge ice storm. Nearly a million people have been left without electricity, and thousands have been stranded.

Troops help in Canada storm clear-up

In Canada's largest-ever peacetime army operation, thousands of soldiers were yesterday deployed throughout the area battered by last week's ice storm.

40 die in Quebec bus crash

A bus plunged into a ravine in rural central Quebec yesterday, killing more than 40 people, Quebec police said. The bus, carrying elderly passengers on an outing for Canada's Thanksgiving holiday to see the turning of the seasons. Police said the accident occurred about 60 miles northeast of Quebec City. It happened at the bottom of a steep hill heading into a hard right curve. "There are more than 40 victims at the moment," the provincial police spokesman Real Ouellet said at the scene. Five survivors among the 48 people aboard the bus were taken to a hospital in nearby Baie-St-Paul.

Europe: Chirac pledge to Quebec

Lucien Bouchard, Quebec's Prime Minister, said yesterday that President Jacques Chirac would recognise the province's independence if it voted in a referendum to secede.
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