Canadian opposition targets Afghan role

Dec. 12, 2006 at 1:56 PM
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QUEBEC, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The leader of Canada's federal Quebec separatist party says he will bring down the minority government if Canada's military role in Afghanistan isn't changed.

Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce in Quebec City, Gille Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois, said he wants to see Canada's NATO commitment shifted from combat to a reconstructive role, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.

Without offering a timetable, Duceppe said he would seek an opposition coalition to introduce a non-confidence vote in Parliament if Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government didn't change foreign policy.

The Bloc Quebecois, New Democrats and Liberals have 182 seats to the Conservatives' 124.

As he spoke in Quebec City, British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Kim Howells was in Ottawa, where he urged Canada to "stay the course" in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

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