Truly, I love the Conservative Party of Canada. They’re sure making full use of the policy immunity that comes from being in the opposition: just criticize and don’t worry about how you would do just the same if you were in government.
I agree with Conservative Kenney’s motion to grant honourary citizenship to the Dalai Lama [see press release below]. The Dalai Lama’s a splendid guy. A bud who saw him and Desmond Tutu last week was truly moved not only by the Dalai Lama, but with the interaction between these two accomplished people.
But why did the motion fail? China was already pissed off that our PM PM would meet with the Dalai Lama. Granting honourary citizenship could hurt trade relations with that blessed huge new market of 1.1 billion. Who cares that they’re a capitalist dictatorship. We make money from the Chinese so we can’t piss them off quite that much. And our neo-con in liberal clothing, steamship-sweatshop-owning millionaire PM knows this all too well.
But what is truly entertaining is Kenney’s feigned shock at seeing his motion defeated. He was “hard-pressed to understand how any MP, in any party could refuse to grant this honour to the Dalai Lama.” Yeah. Right. The Conservative Party of Canada, known champion of global human rights [not so much], denouncer of global imperialism [even less so], would bestow this citizenship on the Dalai Lama if they were in goverment?
I wouldn’t bet on it. As much as the Liberals, they would fear losing access to 1.1 billion Chinese we are training to be hyper-consumers.
Ah, the luxury of being the opposition.
Jason Kenney, MP
Official Opposition Critic for Canada-US Relations
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Liberal Government Refuses to Honour Dalai Lama
Kenney Moves Honorary Citizenship for “Tibetan Freedom Fighter”
Ottawa – Liberal MPs in the House of Commons rejected a motion Thursday morning to give honorary Canadian citizenship to His Holiness the Dalai Lama moved by Conservative MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, AB).
“It’s a shame,” said Kenney. “The Dalai Lama has led a courageous, decades-long, non-violent struggle for freedom of conscience, human rights and self-determination in Tibet. This is an honour Parliament reserves for a few select people and, I believe, the Dalai Lama should be one of them. I am hard-pressed to understand how any MP, in any party could refuse to grant this honour to the Dalai Lama.”
Kenney’s motion enjoyed support from all parties. His co-sponsors included the Hon. David Kilgour, MP (Liberal, Edmonton-Southeast, AB), Francine Lalonde, MP (BQ, Mercier, QC) and Alexa McDonough, MP (NDP, Halifax, NS).
“The Dalai Lama is not just a Buddhist spiritual leader. He is a freedom fighter. His fight for the Tibetan people is a heroic example that inspires millions. The Liberal government blocked this motion and they need to explain to Canadians why the Dalai Lama is not worthy of this honour.”
“This is sad evidence that the Liberals are more concerned with kowtowing to the Communist dictators in Beijing than supporting one of the world’s great human rights heroes. This is the moral debasement of the Liberal Party of Canada,” said Kenney.
The text of Mr. Kenney’s motion was as follows:
“That this House, recognizing his great efforts to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the Tibetan people using peaceful methods, agree that His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, be declared an honorary citizen of Canada.”
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For more information contact:
Jason Kenney, MP