The Toronto Star
NEWS, Friday, May 11, 1990, p. A13
'Light at end' of Meech tunnel, U.S. group told
By Derek Ferguson Toronto Star
NEW YORK - Premier David Peterson has told key investors here he is optimistic the Meech Lake constitutional accord will be passed.
"I see . . . some light at the end of the tunnel," Peterson told about 150 key business people here yesterday.
"I'm optimistic in the next few weeks that we can put something together."
Peterson made his comments before The Canadian Society, a prestigious club of Canadian business people living and working in New York city.
Virtually all the top executives from the major Canadian brokerage houses and Canadian banks, together with many of their American counterparts, attended Peterson's luncheon speech at the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Peterson spent almost as much time attempting to allay their fears about investing in Canada amid the current constitutional turmoil as he did lauding Ontario's merits as a prime repository for their dollars.
Peterson delievered the same bullish pitch early yesterday to top Wall Street investors at a private breakfast at the exclusive Knickerbocker Club, across from Central Park.
His message to investors yesterday was similar to that delivered here Wednesday by federal Finance Minister Michael Wilson.
Wilson told the New York Association of Business Economists that he was optimistic the Meech accord would be ratified.
Peterson said the majority of Canadian politicians support the accord.
"There is no one sitting at the table saying 'Let's think of a way to carve up this country or divide it.' Everybody is sitting there in good faith trying to build a stronger more unified country," Peterson assured his luncheon audience.
Peterson is an ardent supporter of the accord, which must be ratified by all 10 provinces by June 23 or it dies. Manitoba and New Brunswick have refused to ratify it and Newfoundland has withdrawn its previous support.
Ed Hunter, a consultant with the Bank of Nova Scotia, said Peterson made great strides in quelling the business community's skittishness about investing in Canada until the constitutional wrangling is resolved.
Peterson later headed to Long Island for the Bilderberg Conference, a high-powered and secretive annual retreat for public figures and analysts.
Several European prime ministers and the queens of Spain and the Netherlands are among 120 people expected at the retreat this weekend.
Subject(s) - The Toronto Star : Canada constitution Dvid Peterson statement
Length: Medium, 305 words
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