Canada’s Harper in French Debate Says He Can Give Stability to Quebec

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Quebec voters should back his Conservative Party because only it can deliver a stable government.

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe said voters should support his party because it defends the interests of people in Canada’s French-speaking province, and only it can prevent Harper from winning a majority government. The Bloc only runs in Quebec and won 49 of the province’s 75 seats in the last election in October 2008.

The televised French-language debate, held in Ottawa, followed one in English the previous night. It also included Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff and New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton.

Recent polls indicate Harper may win the most seats in the next election without gaining a majority. The Conservatives were supported by 39.9 percent of decided voters, followed by 30.4 percent who supported the Liberals, according to a CTV/Globe/Nanos election survey published today. The telephone survey of 1,200 people was conducted April 10-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net; Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at targitis@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.

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