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Canada Politician Opposes Madela

June 7, 2001

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OTTAWA (AP) _ With a lone dissent in Parliament, Rob Anders blocked a motion to make Nelson Mandela an honorary Canadian citizen.

Now everyone from Prime Minister Jean Chretien to members of Anders’ opposition Canadian Alliance are calling him misinformed and just plain wrong.

``He’s stupid,″ Chretien said Thursday of Anders’ opposition to a motion that would bestow honorary citizenship on Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and South Africa’s first black president.

The measure proposed by the governing Liberal Party required unanimous consent, so Anders exercised veto power by shouting out his opposition in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Liberal leaders say they will try to find a way to push the measure through before Mandela’s expected visit to Canada in September.

Anders indicated he was settling a score after the Liberals previously blocked a motion to honor the 50th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.

He criticized the motion as a ``total political-correctness poster-boy thing,″ and said Mandela’s terrorist actions in the fight against apartheid in South Africa made him unworthy of honorary citizenship.

Canada has granted such honorary citizenship only once before, to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat credited with helping European Jews escape the Nazis.

Anders was elected to Parliament from Calgary, the home base of the conservative Canadian Alliance. Other Alliance members called his move an insult to the party and Mandela.

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