Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you very much for coming.
My question is for my good friend, Ambassador Steil.
You mentioned the Chinese Arctic white paper released in January 2018. There are four things in that white paper that are interesting, at least to me. One was that they wanted to build the polar Silk Road, as you said, and they wanted to encourage state-owned enterprises to contribute to that through infrastructure building. They wanted to encourage more exploration of oil and gas, and they also wanted to explore more fishing options. As well, they included a note about Arctic tourism.
When we look at the Arctic Council, its working groups, and the things it is involved in, none of these four things are in any communications or discussions it has had, even though it has said there should be a voluntary ban on fishing.
With its six member countries and five observer countries, how do the Arctic Council and Canada manage the ambitions of China when they are not congruent with what the Arctic Council says or has said in the past?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm glad you mentioned that. I want to bring up that point because another thing that China is doing is having more bilateral discussions with other countries. One of the countries they've had initial bilateral discussions with is Russia, and it seems there's a renewed interest, given the fact there have been joint military exercises. Negotiations and deals have been signed between Gazprom and Rosneft for heavy drilling and deep drilling. It seems to me that this renewed partnership in that area will change in many ways the geopolitical analysis that's happening.
Going forward, how much is this relationship deepening, and what should we be aware of? You even mentioned the Xue Long, the Snow Dragon. That ship was purchased from Ukraine in 1993; that's how far back those relations go.
If this is the way two superpowers are now emerging together in that area, obviously the geopolitical strategy is going to change. What's your analysis or commentary on that? What should we be aware of?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, all of you, for coming.
Dr. Sangay, just as a point of information for you, I was born 125 kilometres from Dharamshala, in a small town called Mandi, in Himachal Pradesh—
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
—which you probably know, so I'm very familiar with the presence in India.
I actually don't have a question. I have an opinion that I want to ask you about. If you look at what's happening in Tibet right now, there are certain things that are happening overtly and there are certain things that are happening subtly. When we talk about the belt and road initiative or the construction of airports, it seems to be that successively there's a greater and greater impact of China in Tibet. If you also look at the fact that two million nomads from Tibet have now been moved into the urban areas, that's another attempt to disrupt that way of life. Also, if you look at the surrounding countries, co-operation agreements have been signed to make sure that exiled groups are controlled or watched.
The question I have is this. If you look at the question of succession, it seems to me there's a diametrically opposed view. China wants to know who the successor is, and the Dalai Lama has said that is a religious question that will be solved. According to the Dalai Lama—he's now, I believe, 80 or 81 years old—that question will be answered either in his late 80s or when he's 90. But during that period of time, when, though there will be a successor, the successor is not known yet—and I know this is a very philosophical question—does China not then have more time to have a greater impact in Tibet, when there is an understanding that there will be another leader after the Dalai Lama? What is your opinion on that? You have parallel tracks: you have a religious track, where they don't know who the next Dalai Lama will be, and you have China, which is telling you that they have to approve the next successor. It seems to me that when that person emerges, there will be conflict at that point in time because China will want to know who the bona fide successor is, but that successor will not be chosen until the right and appropriate time.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I didn't mean two candidates. I meant the candidate that finally emerges. That person may not be acceptable. It's not that there are two candidates, but that the one person who the Dalai Lama conveys is the next Dalai Lama may not be acceptable to everyone. How would you resolve that?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good morning, Mr. Silvester.
There are two points I want to raise. One, in response to Mr. Erskine-Smith the last time your were here, you said, “We don't have data to profile and target, and we don't profile and target individuals”. I just picked up on what Mr. Kent said about suppressing the vote.
Chris Vickery uncovered evidence that, in the Ripon voter querying data, there's an option value for “disengagement target”. I have a copy of it here, and I think he's posted it on his Twitter. Can you please explain what this means and how your past statement can be accurate in light of this information?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
The disengagement target was to eliminate data; it was not to provide them other information to suppress the vote or to turn the voting? They were eliminated from any of the advertising you were doing.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
You've stated here it's a disengagement. You just told me that those are people you want to avoid, and you used the example that, if you know there are Conservatives on the street, you wouldn't bother with them. If I know there are Conservatives on the street, what am I going to target to them?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. On the second point, there's some similar data showing that Ripon querying data called for psychographic targeting based on high openness, extroversion, high neuroticism, and high conscientiousness. What other psychographic targeting do you do, for which clients, and on what campaigns?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I don't understand what that means.
You have in your code certain criteria, certain values. I'm a coder, but I just want to understand. You have certain codes or certain values that you've written into a program. Now you're saying that they didn't work or.... Explain it to me.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are you stating that for SCL, for this specific project, you had these values, but these values were not available in other projects?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
You have this code, Ripon. You have used it for other campaigns and for other clients.
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