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Montevideo, February 5th 2023 - 23:14 UTC



Quebec, a nation within Canada, divides Liberals

Tuesday, November 28th 2006 - 20:00 UTC
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The Canadian Parliament formally recognized this week French speaking province Quebec as a nation within Canada following a motion presented by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The motion considered a largely symbolic move, as the measure requires no constitutional amendment or change of law, passed easily (266 to 16) having garnered the support of the two largest opposition parties.

PM Stephen Harper proposed the motion last week to seek reconciliation with the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

The motion tabled, to include a reference to Canada as a united state, was drafted to ward off a similar proposal from a Quebec separatist party that would not have included the reference to a united Canada. Most members of the government obeyed an order to vote in favor but on cabinet minister Michael Chong said there were dangers in passing the motion which he described as "ethnic nationalism".

PM Harper said he had proposed the measure in an effort to promote national reconciliation over the often divisive issue of the status of Quebec. Quebec voters have twice rejected referendums seeking independence in 1980 and 1995.

However the controversial resolution has had an impact in the opposition Liberal party which begun gathering in Montreal for this weekend's leadership discussions and it was decided to withdraw it to avoid a divisive debate at the convention.

Although fifteen Liberal MPs supported the resolution in Parliament, Liberal leadership candidates Gerard Kennedy and MP Ken Dryden oppose the motion.

Categories: Mercosur.

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