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Canadian Minister of Enviroment John Baird, speaks during the plenary session of the COP16 United Nations Climate Change conference in a December 9, 2010 file photo in Cancun, Mexico. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images/Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Canadian Minister of Enviroment John Baird, speaks during the plenary session of the COP16 United Nations Climate Change conference in a December 9, 2010 file photo in Cancun, Mexico. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images/Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Canada set to impose sanctions on Syria Add to ...

A new cabinet committee presided over by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is meeting on Tuesday to impose sanctions against Syria for its crackdown on civilian protesters.

John Baird, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, will present his recommendations for punitive measures at the cabinet committee on national security, which was created as part of last week's cabinet shuffle.

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The measures will allow Canada to join allies such as the United States and the European Union, which have already moved to hit back against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Federal officials said their actions were delayed by the recent election campaign, but that Mr. Harper will make sure that Canada takes a stand ahead of the meeting of G8 leaders in France at the end of the week.

"The federal government is deeply concerned by the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria. It must stop," a federal official said. "We continue to call on the government of Syria to exercise restraint and to respect the rights of the Syrian people to freedom of expression and assembly."

Syrian security forces have killed 850 people since the start of the uprising two months ago.

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