[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 03:28 GMT 04:28 UK
Queen defies rain on Canada visit
The Queen and Canadian PM Paul Martin
The Queen's visit may be affected by a vote on Canada's budget
The Queen defied relentless rain in Canada on Wednesday to talk about her affection for the country.

Speaking in Regina, Saskatchewan, she recalled how her mother had once said Canada felt a "home away from home".

"Ladies and gentlemen, six decades later it still does, and it is good to be back," she told drenched onlookers.

The nine-day trip to mark the centenary of Saskatchewan and Alberta's entry into the Confederation comes at a time of political turmoil in Canada.

My mother once said that this country felt like a home away from home for the Queen of Canada - ladies and gentlemen, six decades later it still does, and it is good to be back
The Queen

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in Canada on Tuesday.

She made her way to the legislative building in Regina on Wednesday morning in an open-top carriage in relentless rain.

She later unveiled a statue of herself on her favourite horse, Burmese - which she often rode at Trooping the Colour and which was given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969.

But on Thursday the visit could be disrupted by a crucial vote on the Canadian government's future.

Paul Martin's Liberal minority government, hit by a corruption scandal, faces a vote on the budget. If it loses, a general election would be called and the Queen's schedule changed.

A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with the Queen

It is unlikely that the monarch would return home early or cut short her visit in the event of an election.

But certain parts of her programme could be curtailed to enable her to keep her distance from senior politicians and avoid any suggestion of bias.

The Queen has visited Canada at least 22 times. Her last visit was in October 2002 for the Golden Jubilee tour.

She is the head of state in Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See footage of the Queen's visit to Saskatchewan



SEE ALSO:
Canada defection helps government
17 May 05 |  Americas
Canada's PM fights to stay in job
22 Apr 05 |  Americas
Canada MPs shut down parliament
12 May 05 |  Americas
Q&A: Canada's political crisis
11 May 05 |  Americas
Royals mark islands' liberation
09 May 05 |  Europe


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific