In wake of Mulroney meeting, Harper slammed for being anti-Quebec

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HUDSON, Que. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing criticism in Quebec today for meeting secretly with Brian Mulroney to ask for help on the question of national unity.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says it's another sign that Harper is out of touch with Quebecers.

Mulcair says Harper has never understood the importance of recognizing Quebec's proper place within Canada and that he's now paying the price for his divisive ways.

Mulcair made the comments in Hudson, Que., today where a park was named in honour of late NDP leader Jack Layton.

Meanwhile, Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois says Harper is right to be concerned, and that his government doesn't represent the interests of Quebecers.

The Canadian Press revealed yesterday that Harper held a secret meeting in a Montreal hotel with the former prime minister earlier this month for advice on how to build a better relationship with Quebec.

Harper sought similar advice that same day from Liberal Premier Jean Charest.

The prime minister will be in Quebec tomorrow for a Conservative rally aimed at reviving the party's floundering fortunes in the province, where it holds only five seats.

There are concerns that if the separatist Parti Quebecois win the next provincial election, which could come as soon as this fall, the Harper government wouldn't have an effective voice presenting the federalist side in a debate over national unity.

Organizations: Parti Quebecois, Canadian Press, Montreal hotel

Geographic location: Quebec, HUDSON, Canada

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