Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday September 23, 2016
Trudeau says Canada has ‘extremely high standards’ for extradition treaty with China
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will maintain high standards as it negotiates an extradition treaty with China, while critics raise concerns about that country’s weak record on human rights.
“Canada has extremely high standards on extradition treaties,” Trudeau said to reporters at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa.
“We have a very, very rigorous process, that conforms with the expectations and values of Canadians, and that continues.”
The Liberals announced last week negotiations have begun on a treaty that would allow the Chinese government to pursue someone on Canadian soil for crimes committed in China.
The issue was raised Wednesday in Question Period, where Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose called Trudeau’s approach “shockingly naive.”
“Our allies like Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand don’t have treaties of this type with China,” Ambrose said.
“The Chinese government has orchestrated thousands of cyberattacks against Canada and, according to CSIS and the RCMP, has sent foreign agents into Canada without our permission,” she said.
“Canadians expect the prime minister to act in our national interest. What possible benefit to Canada would an extradition with China provide us?”
Trudeau said his government has succeeded in resolving consular cases in China and in increasing access to the Chinese market after the “hot and cold” relationship with Beijing in the Harper years.
“The benefit to Canada is having a high-level security dialogue where we can talk about issues that are important to us and issues that are important to the Chinese government,” Trudeau said. “We continue to be strong in our values, in our principles and our expectations of anyone we engage with around the world.”
Chinese Premier Li Kegiang arrived in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon, three weeks after Trudeau visited China. The two are expected to talk about increased economic co-operation between the two countries, but human rights remain an issue. (Source: CBC News)