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Archive for Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Parliament to recognize Quebec as nation

November 28, 2006

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— Parliament formally recognized Quebec as a nation within Canada Monday, a symbolic gesture that has led to a Cabinet resignation and ignited concerns over a renewed push for the French-speaking province's independence.

The motion presented by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which calls Quebec a nation within a united Canada, is largely symbolic in that it requires no constitutional amendment or change of law. The opposition Liberals and New Democrats supported the motion, so it passed easily through the House of Commons.

It was devised by Harper to pre-empt a similar attempt by the Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party in Parliament that represents Quebec, whose members also reluctantly backed the resolution once they realized they had been outflanked by Harper.

The people of Quebec have twice voted down referendums seeking independence from Canada; the last one narrowly defeated in 1995. Though there are some in Quebec still longing for sovereignty, most Quebecois wish to remain an integral part of Canada.

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