However, he also said the Quebec National Assembly had the right to adopt a resolution declaring the province a nation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"I recognize that the Quebec National Assembly has adopted that position," he said. "I don't know, quite frankly, what its legal significance is, but I think the important thing for the prime minister of Canada is to defend the unity of Canada. That's what I'm here to do at all times."
Harper held a cabinet meeting in Quebec Friday, followed by a news conference at the Citadelle, a fortress built by the British government. He and members of his cabinet spent Saturday in the province for Fete Nationale -- or St.-Jean-Baptiste Day -- a move aimed at building support for the Conservative Party there, the CBC said.