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Charles de Gaulle returned to haunt Canadian politics Wednesday when Quebec's capital erected a monument to the late French president 30 years after his explosive speech in support of the province's independence.

Amid cheers and protests, the city unveiled a bronze statue of de Gaulle in a park overlooking the St. Lawrence River where British troops defeated the French in 1759 for control of Canada.

Mayor Jean-Paul L'Allier, who supports separating the French-speaking province from Canada, said the statue recognized de Gaulle's role in forging close relations between Quebec and France.

"Vive le Quebec libre (Long live a free Quebec)," de Gaulle proclaimed from Montreal's city hall in 1967, sparking a diplomatic storm. Lester Pearson, Canada's prime minister at the time, issued an official rebuke, and de Gaulle left Canada without visiting.

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