How Will Parliament Vote on Expelling China Diplomats?
Thursdayis a scheduledfederal opposition partyday.It is the day opposition parties can bring motions forward – how will the conservatives, NDP and Liberals vote? Understanding is important because the “facts matter.”
There has been significant debate in parliament about Chinese interference. So far, the Liberals have delayed taking any action. In fact, Trudeau says that no one informed him or his government before, contrary to this:
“In August 2019, two months before the 2019 federal election and two years before the 2021 election, which has both raised major concerns about foreign interference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received a report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) that he created in 2017 to advise him on security issues.”
China was cited on foreign interference more than any other country — 69 times in the 54-page report.”1
On Thursday, the Conservatives will bring forward the following Motion that reads in full: "That, given that intimidation tactics of the People's Republic of China are being deployed against many Canadians of Chinese descent in diaspora communities across the country, which are widely reported and well established through the House of Commons’ committee testimony and reports by Canada’s security establishment, including reports indicating that families of members of Parliament are subjected to an intimidation campaign, orchestrated out of Beijing’s consulate in Toronto, the House call on the government to stop delaying and immediately: (a) create a foreign agent registry similar to Australia and the United States of America; (b) establish a national public inquiry on the matter of foreign election interference; (c) close down the People's Republic of China-run police stations operating in Canada; and (d) expel all of the People's Republic of China diplomats responsible for and involved in these affronts to Canadian democracy."
“Unlike many Opposition Day Motions, the Conservatives excluded any "poison pill" partisan language into the motion. Because of this absence, it's going to be quite interesting to see how the Liberals vote on this one, given so far Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has resisted taking on expulsion on her own, and the party is already on-side with a foreign agent registry, while leaving the inquiry question to David Johnston.”2
1 The Toronto Star (06 May, (2023. Goldstein: The warnings about foreign interference – in 2019 – that Trudeau Ignored. https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-the-warnings-about-foreign-interference-in2019- that-trudeau-ignor
There are so many stories about Chinese interference that it is impossible for us to know the facts. We were originally told there was no interference – to now, there is. We were told that the Liberals did not know - now the story is out that they got a report more than 4 years ago.
The Liberals have told us that those involved in foreign interference “will not succeed.”3 Haven’t they already succeeded? – no action has been taken to combat this for at least the past four years.
The Liberals appointed a special rapporteur to decide whether a public enquiry should exist. The special rapporteur is a personal family friend of Trudeau and was part of the Board of the Trudeau Foundation. Can the special rapporteur provide an honest assessment and independent decision? No matter the decision, it will cause a lot of consternation – the facts matter, but we just do not know what they are and will not know the decision.
We have not been told the true story, only a twisted story with conflicting “facts”. Why cannot government just tell us the honest-to-goodness facts.... because the facts matter.
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Best wishes, and keep the faith.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
2 CTV News (May 6, 2023). The Week Ahead. Email news notice. 3 Canadian Press (06 May 2023). Government still investigating why threats against Chong were not passed up to cabinet: Mendicino. https://torontosun.com/news/national/government-still-investigating-why-threatsagainst-chong-not-passed-up-to-cabinetmendicino#:~:text=Article%20content,Minister%20Marco%20Mendicino%20said%20Saturda