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FLASHBACKS

15 years ago (Oct. 24-30, 1995)

Referendum results a call for change, Harcourt says

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Despite a narrow win by the No side in Monday's Quebec sovereignty referendum, B.C. premier Mike Harcourt said there's no need for another lengthy round of constitutional talks aimed at achieving distinct society status for Quebec.

"I don't think we should be running to the constitutional table all the time," he told reporters on Monday evening. "We've been through that and we did not get the results we need.''

However, Mr. Harcourt also used the occasion to call for greater powers for the provinces, saying that B.C. and Quebec "share a similar desire for change, free of the straitjacket of an over-centralized government in Ottawa."

B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Campbell welcomed the result, saying "our top priority now has to be making Canada work for everyone."

Mr. Harcourt shrugged off concerns that the razor-thin margin of victory - 50.6 per cent to 49.4 per cent for the Yes side - will lead to another sovereignty referendum in the near future.

"It settled the question that the people of Quebec, a majority, have said no to separation," he said.

Flash forward: Former federal Tory leader Jean Charest, a key figure in the No campaign, has served as Quebec's Premier since 2003.

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25 years ago (Oct. 24-30, 1985)

Haida leaders block Lyell Island logging road

About 20 members of the Haida Nation set up a blockade this week aimed at preventing Western Forest Products from exercising its timber rights on Lyell Island.

Led by Skidgate hereditary chief Dempsey Collinson, the protesters formed a human barricade across a logging road near a forestry camp operated by subcontractor Frank Beban Logging Ltd.

After meeting with native leaders, Mr. Beban, a local resident, agreed to respect the blockade and send his men back to camp. "I don't want to have a confrontation. They are my friends," he said.

The protesters arrived on Tuesday evening, after workers from Mr. Beban's company spent the day felling old-growth trees to make way for a new logging road on the island.

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The clash comes less than a month after a provincial government decision to allow logging on two new areas of Lyell Island, part of the South Moresby chain of Haida Gwaii.

Western Forest Products has applied for a court injunction to have the protesters removed.

Flash forward: The blockade, which lasted three months and resulted in 72 arrests, was the first of several high-profile protests that led to the designation of Gwaii Haanas National Park in 1993.

Brennan Clarke, Special to The Globe and Mail

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