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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much to our witnesses. You've presented a number of excellent points today, and some good recommendations.
Professor Ong, I'm curious to get to some more of your thinking. You seem to be at least partially hopeful that there is an ability to reverse the takeover we're now seeing in Hong Kong. You said that it will take time, but you seem to hold out that hope. Could you address that briefly?
If that's the case, should we view Hong Kong not so much by going back to the Cold War but as a Poland, going forward, with that resilience we all know is alive in Hong Kong in the people? Could you comment on your reasons for hope?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Yes, I think that's a good point.
I'm going to turn now to Professor Medeiros.
I take your point that what we're seeing in Hong Kong is not a prelude to war and that we have to be careful. Not only does Canada have about 300,000 citizens in the territory, but there are millions of like-minded friends in Hong Kong, literally millions. I think the talk of a cold war is overstated because of, as Mr. Cheung just said, the ethnonationalism we see on display in China.
I'd like your thoughts. Should we think of what we're seeing in Asia now as more akin to what we saw with respect to Imperial Japan: a nationalist population and government, an expansionary state and a military regime that does not have civilian oversight? If that's the case, should the attention now not turn completely to Taiwan? Taiwan is the nation island. China wants it, and it has long made this clear. Do we not need to stick together on this, particularly with the Taiwan Defence Act in the United States? If this is not managed properly, unlike Hong Kong, this could lead to a real clash in the South China Sea.
Could I get your comments on that? You have just over a minute to respond.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
To our witnesses, thank you for joining us today. You've all added some really solid and good information, as well as insights.
I'll start with Ms. Sharon Hom.
First, thank you for stiffening my spine. Sometimes my questions are rhetorical, but it's always good to hear the reasons for hope and the reasons why we need to do more, not less, for the people of Hong Kong, while we also consider how best to help our friends in neighbouring Taiwan.
I thought earlier today that Professor Ong had some really good points about Hong Kong still being the golden goose for mainland officials and for the country. This means the territory is not going to suddenly or quickly—or even, perhaps, gradually—become just another Chinese city, because of the wealth and prosperity that would be lost. This will benefit both dissidents and activists in Hong Kong to continue their struggle for freedom and human rights.
You asked for a few minutes. Could you maybe give us in 90 seconds all the things you wanted to say but didn't have a chance to? I will cut you off after 90 seconds because I, too, am on the clock and under the mindful eye of our own Big Brother here.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
I'll have to cut you off in about 15 seconds, but go ahead.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you.
Professor Kaeding, I thought your insight was unique. You provided a possible glimpse into the thinking of mainland officials. The point you made that Beijing cannot be trusted has some serious implications, because if a partner cannot be trusted, that means they have to be dealt with as untrustworthy.
What, then, should Canada's policy be? Should it be, then, for Canadian trading, to have commercial relations with both mainland China and Hong Kong, but also have the internal fortitude to denounce and speak out when Beijing is out of step, something that unfortunately we're not seeing now? Is it the combination of both trade, which is mutually beneficial to both parties, and speaking out, finding our voice in Canada and perhaps following in the footsteps of Australia and some of the other Asian nations that are closer to mainland China? What say you to that?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Right. That would mean, of course, that when you speak out, there might be some blowback on commercial relations, but that's just the price of standing up.
Basically, Mr. Chatigny, you do not believe there is much that Canada or its allies can do to change Beijing. Did I understand you correctly?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you very much.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Before I begin, I'm just going to move my motion from last meeting:
That, as part of its study on the Canadian Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology invite Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, to testify regarding the development and ongoing operation of the recently released contact tracing application.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
I'll just say quickly that I'm fine with that. I think that's good.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you, everybody, for your patience while we dealt with that quickly.
I will begin with Mr. Landon. We don't have any representatives for students here today, but I still want to ask about the government's support for Canadian students. The Canadian Federation of Students has launched a petition stating that the $912-million Canada student service grant was flawed from the start. They strongly criticize its practicality and usefulness for students.
My first question would be whether the federal government consulted with any universities about the value of this program.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Was this an idea that you think the universities or students would have considered or proposed on their own?
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. One reason I'm asking this is that we already have a program called the Canada summer jobs program. In my riding specifically, there were more businesses and groups that did not receive funding for it than did, which means there were more students who were not hired than who were hired to work jobs for these various businesses here.
Again, I'm just wondering whether pre-existing programs such as Canada summer jobs or some other arrangement would work better to help students impacted by COVID to continue their studies.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
A big concern for a lot of students is getting a job after they graduate. How much has COVID limited the job market for potential university graduates?
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
CPC (SK)
Do you want to elaborate on any of those measures specifically?
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