question period — Foreign Affairs

Canada-China Relations

December 9, 2021


Hon. Michael L. MacDonald
[14:36]

Senator Gold, in an interview yesterday on CBC’s “Power & Politics,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, stated:

The two Michaels are on bail right now, according to the criminal law in China. So we want to make sure we work that out with the Chinese government.

This is a very disturbing admission. It is unacceptable that a minister of the Crown in Canada, let alone the Minister of Foreign Affairs, would in any way legitimize the kidnapping, arbitrary detention, bogus criminal charges and sham court proceedings endured by both of these Canadians at the hands of the Chinese communist dictatorship. Senator Gold, why would Minister Joly say this? Is it that this minister truly does not understand the file or is this the position of the Government of Canada?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate)
[14:37]

The position of the Government of Canada has been and continues to be that the detention of the two Michaels was illegal, arbitrary, contrary to international law and unjustified, and that remains the position of the Government of Canada.

[14:37]

Again, you didn’t answer the question. To accept the release of the two Michaels as being out on bail is to give validity to these illegal detentions of these two Canadians for over 1,000 days. That is something Canada shouldn’t do and I’m sure it is something Canadians do not accept. To say they are out on bail implies that Canada somehow accepts these conditions that the two Michaels have to follow to maintain their release.

Senator Gold, why does the Government of Canada accept that the two Michaels are out on bail?

Senator Gold
[14:38]

I repeat, the position of the government is that their illegal detention was, indeed, illegal. The government joins with Canadians in celebrating their release.