Mideast stance hurts Canada's PM Harper

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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's strong support for Israel in its current crisis with Lebanon is unpopular with many Canadians. A recent Strategic Counsel poll for BellGlobeMedia found that 45% of Canadians disagree with the Conservative government's support for Israel, a number that climbs to 61 per cent in Quebec. Harper leads a minority government and needs to win more seats in Quebec in order to secure a majority in the next election, widely expected to be held next year.

Nevertheless, Harper told reporters at a caucus retreat yesterday that he believes his position is in tune with Canadians and will be maintaining it.

"I think the position we have, properly understood, is exactly the position of Canadians," Harper told reporters.

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