Harper says to fight opposition coalition plan

Wed Dec 3, 2008 7:23pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper would use "every legal means" to block a plan by opposition parties to replace his minority Conservative government, Harper said in a nationally televised address on Wednesday.

The opposition Liberals and New Democrats -- backed by the separatist Bloc Quebecois -- are vowing to defeat Harper in a confidence vote on Monday and form a coalition government.

Harper is widely expected to go to the country's governor general on Thursday and ask her to suspend Parliament until his government delivers a budget on Jan 27.

"At a time like this a coalition with separatists cannot help Canada ... tonight I pledge to you that Canada's government will use every legal means at our disposal to protect our democracy, to protect put economy and to protect Canada," said Harper.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren)

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper poses for a picture in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, after taping a televised statement to the country, December 3, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>