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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
I move the following:
That the committee express its grave concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum in Hong Kong, and that this be reported to the House.
To give you a little background, 22 years ago I started working for the National Post newspapers. As we were launching the paper, I had a brief conversation with Conrad Black, who was then residing in London. Mr. Black told me and others that he was coming from the most dynamic news market in the world, that being London, England. I took a moment to correct him and said, “Actually, no. In my opinion, the most dynamic news market in the world is Hong Kong.”
Jimmy Lai is the founder of the Apple Daily newspaper. He's a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. It is deeply concerning that he and two former lawmakers in the special administrative region of Hong Kong were recently arrested. I think this does warrant special consideration by the Parliament of Canada. I don't know if members have had a chance to go over the stories around the detention and arrest here. It is the motivation for my motion to raise this.
The challenge here is that the People's Republic of China agreed to fulfill the basic law, and the position of the Government of Canada is not to force upon China obligations that it did not agree to 23 years ago but to fulfill those obligations. Those obligations were to allow the special administrative region of Hong Kong to continue with its system of government, which allows for the free expression and free assembly rights that we hold dear in this country.
I'll pause there, Mr. Chairman, and hopefully move it to a vote.
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