Jun. 25, 2020

A dastardly letter about extradition, unbecoming of Canada

Shocked and dismayed. I could use harsher words. 

I have just read a news item that reports that several prominent Canadians have penned a letter requesting the Government of Canada cancel the present extradition process that is under way with the U.S.A. concerning a Huawei executive.

In other words, cave to the bullying of a Communistic, totalitarian state and betray our friend, neighbour, largest trading partner, and democratic state. 

First, I could not believe what I was reading. Then it sank in. 

Some prominent Canadians are willing to throw in the towel to a legitimate lawful process already under way to have a leading Chinese corporate executive go scott free. They have bowed to the bullying of a country whose government breaks international law (South China Sea), has citizens with whom they disagree disappear (critics of the Wuhan virus outbreak) without due process, imprison minorities  (Uyghurs) without due process, violate an undertaking regarding Hong Kong and conduct a surveillance state with one party rule. 

Second, I thought Canada believed in the rule of law. Canada is following it with even a Canadian Court ruling on the legitimacy of the process.

Third, the U.S.A. is our neighbour, largest trading partner. Do you think such actions will be deemed appropriate by any U.S. Government, Democratic or Republican? This could and likely will be viewed by the U.S. as a very hostile act by Canada. Those who penned the letter have the gall to associate this with Canada’s position on the Iraq War. Need I remind them that there was no treaty involved or violating an existing legal process concerning Canada’s position on the Iraq War. Additionally, one hopes this is not a former PM Jean Chretien inspired effort, especially if he has commercial interests in China. 

Fourth, to think we have prominent Canadians who are prepared to abuse the rule of law, succumb to the bully tactics of a Communist state, and abuse our neighbour, a democratic state, and our largest trading partner marks the nadir of democracy in Canada. 

 As one Canadian who has politically served this country, I reject the contents of this letter and call on the Government of Canada, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast, to reject it as well. 

Brain Peckford is a former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, living in retirement on Parksville, B.C.