Conservatives demand change in Canada’s relationship with China

Liz Braun

28 April 2021

Conservative MP John Williamson believes Canadians are fed up with our country’s relationship with China.

The politician from New Brunswick says Canada’s business relationship with the People’s Republic of China does not make sense when there are Canadians held hostage there.

Two Canadian business consultants, Michael Spavor and Micheal Kovrig, have been jailed in China on charges of espionage since 2018. The foreign ministry says it knows of at least 119 Canadians arrested or imprisoned in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

“Beijing is proving it is a belligerent power toward other nations,” said Williamson, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“It is wrong that our government won’t take stronger steps by working in concert with our allies, especially Australia, to defend our values and citizens.”

Williamson decried what he called the federal business-as-usual approach to China, given that federal departments and agencies awarded $5.8 million in contracts to suppliers in China last year, at the same time the “two Michaels” were being held in jail.

“Canadians should be aware of contracts from the Government of Canada handed to companies with links to mainland China,” said Williamson.

Most of the world’s supply of PPE comes from China.

Cabinet in Inquiries Of Ministry tabled in the Commons said contracts awarded to China firms more than doubled the value of direct foreign aid. Contracts totalled $5.8 million.

Direct aid from the Department of Foreign Affairs totaled $2.3 million, which included funding for local school lunch programs.

Conservative MP Andrew Scheer told reporters earlier he doesn’t believe Canadian taxpayers should be sending any money to China.

“We’re talking about a communist dictatorial government that abuses human rights, quashes freedoms, violates rights of its citizens, and has a very aggressive foreign policy all throughout the region,” said Scheer.

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