‘Nation’ motion passes, but costs Harper (GLORIA GALLOWAY and BILL CURRY AND ALEX DOBROTA, 11/27/06, Globe and Mail
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plan to outmanoeuvre separatists with a motion to recognize the Québécois as a nation has cost the government a cabinet minister and exposed fractious divides within both the Liberals and Conservatives.
The vote Monday night passed by 266 votes to 16. The only MPs who stood to oppose the motion were newly Independent member Garth Turner and 15 members of the Liberal caucus — including leadership candidates Ken Dryden and Joe Volpe.
Missing from the Conservative bench was Michael Chong, the man who had just resigned as minister of intergovernmental affairs over his inability to recognize the Québécois as a nation, even when framed within a united Canada.