Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said firing Canada’s envoy to China after making comments about Huawei’s global chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case is not a focus, adding it was detrimental to bring back the detained Canadians back to Canada.
Speaking to reporters in New Brunswick, Trudeau said that Meng will have a fair chance to fight her case against the United States’ request to extradite her. He ignored questions about Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer’s comment suggesting he would have fired John McCallum, the current Canadian ambassador in China.
Meng was arrested in Vancouver while in transit to Mexico. She was granted bail but currently faces extradition to the U.S., where authorities reportedly said she deceived international banks to funnel transactions between Huawei and Iran. Meng has maintained that Huawei has no connection or involvement.
On January 21st, 2019, the U.S. has informed the Canadian government it will issue a formal extradition request, which could come anytime before January 30th, 2019.
It’s very important to note that Huawei has been in Canada since 2008 and has forged multiple partnerships with universities. It currently works with Bell and Telus to help deploy 5G network infrastructure.
McCallum, a former Liberal cabinet minister, told reporters on January 22nd, 2019 that Meng has “quite good arguments on her side” to fight her case against the U.S.
“One, political involvement by comments from Donald Trump in her case. Two, there’s an extraterritorial aspect to her case, and three, there’s the issue of Iran sanctions which are involved in her case, and Canada does not sign on to these Iran sanctions. So I think she has some strong arguments that she can make before a judge,” he said.
On January 23rd, 2019, Scheer said on CTV’s Power Play that he “would fire him.”
“The situation with China right now is at a very strained point. That goes without saying. We have to be very, very careful as a country and our government needs to be taking this very, very seriously,” he said.
But Trudeau maintained that it was the country’s utmost importance to bring back former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor. Both were detained last month and are currently held by Chinese authorities.
“Our focus is entirely on getting those Canadians home safe and making sure that all their rights are respected … making a change would not help release those Canadians a day sooner,” he said.
Image credit: YouTube (Screenshot)