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CORRECTION :Canada proposes Afghan involvement to 2011; dropping Kyoto targets

By dpa news     Oct 16, 2007 in Politics
The Canadian government Tuesday proposed keeping its troops in Afghanistan until 2011, dropping its commitments to cut carbon emissions and conferring Canadian citizenship on a Myanmar rights activist.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the proposals in his legislative agenda, presented to Parliament with pomp and circumstance by Canada's ceremonial head of state, Governor-General Michaelle Jean.
Harper has said in past months that Canada was committed to keeping troops in Afghanistan at least until 2009, and he risks opposition by the majority Liberal Party over an extension.
Parliament is expected to hold its first vote on the agenda on Thursday.
Harper has walked a tight rope since entering office in 2005, with a minority government that depends on some combination of support from opposition parties.
He could face a vote of no-confidence on the proposed agenda. Conversely, the Liberals, fraught with dissension among their own ranks, are anxious to avoid early elections and could be motivated to support his proposals for that reason.
The proposal to bestow honorary Canadian citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's democracy movement who has been held under house arrest for years, comes amidst new turmoil and agitation for democracy in the South-East Asian country.
Canada, once a leading supporter of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gasses, would not be able to meet its commitments under the United Nations convention, the government said.
Canada's exit strategy from Afghanistan would be tied to progress in the training of Afghan security forces, the agenda said.
The legislative programme also places high priority on protecting Canada's sovereignty in the rapidly melting Arctic, with acquisition of new Arctic patrol ships; expansion of aerial surveillance of the North and the disputed Northwest Passage; and escalation of the size of its Inuit Rangers militia to patrol the Arctic on land and ice. dpa lse pr