Parliament unanimously adopted a motion on June 22 conferring the honorary status on the Dalai Lama. The honour has been awarded only twice before - to South African leader Nelson Mandela and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved countless Jews from extermination during the Second World War.
China is not pleased:
China is threatening to use its considerable economic strength to penalize Canada following the Harper government's decision to bestow honorary Canadian citizenship on the Dalai Lama.
The Canadian government only went partway out the limb:
Foreign Affairs says Canada recognizes the Peoples Republic of China as the
legitimate government of China and Tibet.
"Canada does not recognize the Tibet government in exile, but Canada considers the Dalai Lama to be an important and widely supported spiritual leader," said spokeswoman Kim Girtel.