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Canada PM promises to 'respect' pro-Kyoto bill

[JURIST] Canada's conservative government [party website] retreated Thursday from earlier statements that the government would ignore a bill (C-288) [legislative history] passed by the House of Commons [official website] Wednesday requiring the government to establish a plan within 60 days for greenhouse gas emission cuts mandated by the Kyoto Protocol [text; BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] initially announced that he would not support the legislation, which still must be passed by the Canadian Senate [official website] to become law, he told Parliament Thursday that the government would respect the bill "if and when [it] becomes law," but said that the bill was so poorly constructed that it would have no effect on government policies.

The drafter of C-288, Pablo Rodriguez [official profile] of Canada's Liberal Party [party website], likened Harper's initial comments that the legislation would be ignored to an attack on democracy, that by choosing which laws to respect and which to ignore the prime minister was in essence acting as a dictator. On Monday, Harper unveiled the government's own plan [press release] for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reuters has more.

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