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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
Queen 'treasures' Canadian role
Queen meets Canadians on walkabout
The Queen said it was a 'privilege' to serve Canadians
The Queen has spoken of her place in Canadian history - amid controversial calls for the abolition of the monarchy there.

Delivering a powerful speech in Vancouver, on her Golden Jubilee tour of Canada, the Queen said: "I treasure my place in the life of Canada and my bond with Canadians everywhere.

"During these last 50 years I have been with you as this country has evolved and grown - celebrating success, surmounting challenges, resolving difficulties."


It is a privilege to serve you as Queen of Canada to the best of my ability

Queen Elizabeth II

Her comments came after Canada's Deputy Prime Minister John Manley caused a stir on the royal tour by suggesting the Queen should be his country's last monarch.

She praised Canada as a much respected global player, major economic force, valued Commonwealth leader and great country.

"It is therefore with special pride that I take this opportunity during my Jubilee year to pay tribute to Canadians everywhere and to thank you for the support and affection you have given to me over these past 50 years," she said.

"It is a privilege to serve you as Queen of Canada to the best of my ability, to play my part in the Canadian identity, to uphold Canadian traditions and heritage, to recognise Canadian excellence and achievement and to seek to give a sense of continuity in these exciting, ever-changing times in which we are fortunate enough to live."

The speech was delivered at lunch on Monday with Prime Minister Jean Chretien in Vancouver's Fairmont Hotel.

It may have been planned or written before Mr Manley's outspoken remarks but, nevertheless, will answer critics without involving the Queen in the cut and thrust of Canadian party politics.

Rude and boorish

Just as the Queen arrived in Canada, Mr Manley said the monarchy should be replaced with a "uniquely Canadian institution".

The Queen and Mr Manley are due to meet on Saturday when he will greet her and the Duke of Edinburgh in Ottawa for the final leg of the royal tour.

Opposition critics and monarchists in Canada criticised Mr Manley's remarks as badly timed, rude, insulting and boorish. Mr Manley aired his republican views in Montreal.

In Monday's speech, the Queen also referred to Canada's record in crafting a multi-cultural society that provided a model for the rest of the world.

Later, she was due to visit the University of British Columbia.

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Jennie Bond reports
"This isn't a place to stand and stare or you get frozen to the spot"

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05 Oct 02 | Americas
07 Aug 02 | Scotland
05 Aug 02 | Scotland
03 Jun 02 | Scotland
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