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VANCOUVER—A rally last night in support of a coalition federal government drew more than 1,500 concerned Canadians calling for an end to the Stephen Harper era.

Some had feared the rally, organized by the Canadian Labour Congress and BC Federation of Labour, would be a hard sell in light of yesterday morning’s decision by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean to grant Harper’s request to prorogue Parliament—effectively shutting down government until late January. But by 6 p.m. a huge crowd had gathered outside Vancouver’s Trade and Convention Centre, and the atmosphere was electric as the rally got under way inside.

The event drew supporters of both the federal NDP and Liberal parties calling for responsible government and better fiscal management for Canada. Vision councillor Heather Deal spoke on behalf of newly-elected Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, MPs Peter Julian and Herb Dhaliwal spoke for the NDP and Liberals, respectively, and YouTube videos of both Jack Layton and Stephane Dion were shown on several large screens displayed around the convention hall.

All speakers condemned Harper for his divisive politics which have pitted Canadians against each other, and for ignoring the 62 per cent of Canadians who did not vote for the Conservative Party.

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