BY SHAWN RAYSON
Many Canadians became aware of the firing of Ambassador to China John McCallum, by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Saturday. McCallum’s dismissal came after he told the Toronto Star, that “if (the US) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada.”
McCallum already stirred public opinion in Canada days before when meeting with Chinese media. This is unlike Prime Minister Trudeau, who is hiding behind the supposed “Rule of Law.” Ambassador McCallum suggested that Meng “had a very good chance of avoiding extradition to the US.” More specifically, he suggested that President Trump’s comments regarding the case were a very good reason as to why Meng would likely be successful in her case. Ambassador McCallum further mentioned that another positive outcome for Meng could be due to the fact that “the Iran sanctions which are involved in her case, were not signed by Canada.”
Once again, the extradition treaty is for criminal proceedings and not political matters. Based on this fact alone, coupled with Trumps comments, Meng should have been released immediately unconditionally.
Prime Minister Trudeau should have stopped this charade long ago and put the Trump administration in their place. The Prime Minister instead decided to pander to the Trump Administration causing great damage to Canada’s relationship with China.
Prime Minister Trudeau completely tilts to the US on the Meng’s case. Perhaps it’s because he signed the replacement of NAFTA, the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) with Trump (which is yet to be ratified by the US Congress), that did not remove the tariffs placed on Canadian steel and aluminum. Therefore, Trudeau did not want to rock the boat with the US. They say that it takes a lifetime to build good diplomatic relations with another country and a day to destroy them. Trudeau has managed to do just that and not only with China. Trudeau has serious diplomatic issues with Russia, Saudi Arabia and India to mention a few.
Many people in Canada believe that Trudeau is way out of his depth in handling global affairs. While hiding behind the rule of law and pandering to Trump, he has managed to destroy the many years spent building trust and understanding between Canada and China. It was not his place to destroy this relationship. Following Trump is like following a leaf in a windstorm. Everybody knows about Trump’s temper tantrums and his disorganized White House. Canada knows that Trump works on whims, as does everyone in the responsible political realm in the US. Trudeau has misread this entire farce but Canadians should not. Our relationship with China is far too important.
Ambassador McCallum enjoyed many successes in his life prior to becoming Ambassador to China. Before politics, the Ambassador was chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada. Following his tenure at the bank, he became a Member of Parliament in Canada from 2000 – 2017. During his time as an MP, he served as Minister of Defense; Minister of Veterans Affairs; Minister of Revenue Canada and Minister of Immigration. All of these positions were top level Cabinet positions which required strong leadership and oversight.
I applaud Ambassador McCallum for telling the truth and keeping his dignity. Trudeau could have learned so much from the Ambassador, but instead he decided to follow Trump.
Former Advisor to Stephane Dionne J Coulon wrote recently: “Canada is powerless in today’s world, having not developed the diplomatic, military, economic and influence instruments necessary to adapt. In this situation, neither Trudeau nor Chrystia Freeland knows how to react.” Exactly.
(The author worked for the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada, before moving to China where he spent 16 years as a successful entrepreneur. firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Another Canadian misstep on China over Huawei
BY SHAWN RAYSON