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View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
This was something unexpected. I think we're being overly prescriptive here. The idea was that we were endorsing the notion of re-engagement of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue in general terms. Wouldn't it be better here to not get too detailed and in fact just talk about representatives of the Tibetan people and the government of the People's Republic of China?
I would prefer that, because we're getting a bit specific. We're kind of unprepared for this detail, given the fact that we've had only one witness and the debate we had the other day was partly about this issue and the fact that we're happy to endorse the dialogue between the Tibetan people and the People's Republic. By getting very specific, I think we may be going beyond what we have evidence for. I'm inclined to keep it general and not go into this kind of detail.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
I listened to what Mr. Oliphant and Mr. Virani said, and I think that is correct.
Given the difficulties we're having—I want to echo what Mr. Bergeron just said—the exact wording is not clear because it's not before us.
I heard Mr. Virani use the words “and/or” to allow the greatest possibility, but I'm not sure that's what is in the motion itself. There are envoys, the CTA or the Dalai Lama. Is that the...? Any combination of those is part of the motion. Is the wording accurate for that? That's the question.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
We've had no debate on that motion as amended, either.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
I'll be brief because I did express my support for this motion the last time it was raised, with the concern that we hadn't heard from other witnesses on the question of Tibet and that we ought not to be setting a precedent of dealing with questions in a piecemeal way. Therefore, I have my own motion put forward, and I understand there's a consensus on that among committee members, but we'll see.
It's important that we continue with our full study, but this is an important issue for the Tibetan community and the Tibetan people, and I think the fact of the matter is that it's before our committee now, even though somewhat irregularly, and I think we should pass it and give it our full endorsement.
Thank you.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
I want to speak in support of this motion for none of the reasons that Ms. Alleslev just referred to. In fact, if that were the reason, I wouldn't support it. The government is the government until it isn't.
The reason I'm supporting this, contrary to our normal role of “wait until we get it all, and let's talk about the relationship between Canada and China”, is that there is a sense of urgency to some of the measures that are being proposed, particularly those that would offer assistance to people who are now affected by these changes in the relationship with Hong Kong and between Hong Kong and Beijing. That's the reason for the urgency, in my view.
We should put what we have on the table so that the government can act, and we can try to influence the course of the government's activities while it is the government. That could be for longer than people think or it could be for shorter than people think, but that has nothing to do with my support for this motion. I think we should do it because it is important, but it is an exception to the overall thrust of having a report at the end, which we are all endeavouring to do. This is an exception as a result of the urgency of the matters before us.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
I want to emphasize that I consider this an interim report as well, although it's not called that, and it should not preclude us from referencing the situation in Hong Kong in our overall report at the end. We should probably make sure that, in whatever report we do prepare, it's directed at basically the here-and-now situation.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I don't think this will take long. I would like to move the following:
That the committee invite officials from Global Affairs Canada to provide a briefing on the situation in Tibet and Canada’s relationship at the earliest opportunity as part of its ongoing study on Canada’s relationship with China.
I'll speak to it briefly, if you wish.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
This has been discussed with the vice-chairs. I believe there will be support for this. It's part of my understanding, and part of my support for the earlier motion, that we would insist and ensure that we hear more about China, in particular from officials as to the history. We got some of it from Mr. Virani today, but I would like to hear the officials give us the story about the relationship and whatever other evidence. I think a good place to start would be with the officials and at the earliest opportunity that presents itself.
Thank you.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
I think this motion doesn't preclude any other witnesses from being called, but I don't know if we want to go into amending the motion at this point. I think this is something that would likely be referred to the subcommittee, and the subcommittee can give consideration to it. I prefer to do it just as is, but I'm not opposed to other witnesses being called.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair, and thank you to our witnesses for their presentations.
Dr. Medeiros, I'm interested in your comments on this matter.
You talked about American foreign policy, and I have before me an article from over the weekend talking about Secretary of State Pompeo's speech in the Czech Republic last week. In his remarks, in the same speech, he said, “What’s happening now isn’t Cold War 2.0.” He talked about the challenge of resisting the CCP threat as being in some ways much more difficult; saying that the CCP is “enmeshed in our economies, in our politics, in our societies in ways the Soviet Union never was”, and made other references. All the references, apparently, to China were not to the People's Republic of China or to the government but to the Communist Party.
The language in his speech about it not being a cold war seems to me rather ideological in nature and not diplomatic in terms of a strategic action by a state vis-à-vis another state. Is that language helpful, or are we really talking about an ideological battle with the Communist Party, as opposed to dealing with authoritarianism or anti-democratic activity, etc.? Could you comment on that, please?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
I was concerned, Chair, about whether such characterizations and cold war references are actually helpful in building coalitions.
Professor Ong, you referred to the Chinese Communist Party in terms of the strategic interests of its leadership and the elite and how that would affect the kinds of actions that are being taken, which I see as a different thing.
You have said in the past, in talking about working together with other countries, that the United States and Canada have different interests, or that they do not always have the same interests, and that we need to chart an independent course of foreign policy with China. We have shared interests, but there are areas where policies should diverge, particularly given that Canada is a lesser power. I wonder if you could elaborate on that a little bit and perhaps describe some of those differences.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
Ms. Ong, you talked about how we deal with the financial aspects of Hong Kong. As I see it, China wants to show that it can repress the people of Hong Kong with the security law and still obtain the benefits of the financial advantages of having Hong Kong in place. It's a bit of a tightrope to me. How do we move China towards a rules-based system while keeping Hong Kong in the same situation as it is?
I take it you see that what the U.S. is doing by erasing the difference between financial measures towards Hong Kong businesses versus mainland businesses is not effective, but what would be effective in terms of moving the dial towards the expectation that China should follow these rules, or is that a long-term strategy rather than a short-term one?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Dr. Medeiros, could you comment in terms of long-term and short-term measures?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you to the three witnesses for giving us this very penetrating and significant analysis.
I will start with you, Mr. Chatigny. You mentioned that you assisted over 2,000 business immigrants to come into Canada through Quebec and their program. Can I ask you whether or not their entry into Canada was part of, or was seen by them as part of, China's expansion throughout the world business-wise, or would they see that as an individual step for themselves? I'm sure it's an individual question, but is there a general trend there? Is this part of China's strategy of increasing its business interests elsewhere?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you. That answered my question.
We are looking at Hong Kong, the role of Hong Kong, and the 30 years during which China expanded rapidly to become a significant power. Obviously, to some extent that was dependent upon the finances raised in Hong Kong. Do you have a comment on whether that would change now? Is it needed, given the already rapid expansion that we have? Is China less dependent on Hong Kong and the finances there?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
Professor Hom, I was interested in your question regarding what Hong Kongers want versus what we want. You may have mis-characterized my suggestion. What we want to see is the rule of law playing a more important role, hopefully, in Canada's relation to the world. That would obviously include human rights to the strongest possible degree.
In terms of the list of things that people are campaigning for—universal suffrage, the five demands, the local government aspect, the legislative demands, freedom and all those things—they're all part of the same, as I see it. Are you suggesting that we ought to find specific things on the agenda and look for ways to support them?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Professor.
I want to thank you, in particular, but also all three of you for giving us some hope that efforts are continuing, which Canada should support.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I hope you can hear me. I had to switch to a cellphone. My service phone ran out of battery power.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Okay.
Mr. Kaeding, it's been suggested by earlier witnesses that Hong Kong could go either way. We've seen arrests of high-profile people in this quick crackdown—not that others haven't been arrested too, mind you. The law itself is open to a terrific amount of selective enforcement. It could go either way. It could keep up or taper off.
You can't predict, of course, but does it matter what reaction we would have? Would our reaction as Canadians have any effect?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
Professor Hom, could you add to what you said before? You've been quoted as saying that you have “faith” in the long arc of history bending towards justice. I think that's a very hopeful and purposeful comment. You also said that Hong Kongers “know they have to play the long game”. Jimmy Lai, even since his recent arrest, has talked about the fact that tactical changes might have to take place in order to be effective and creative in the longer run.
Can you tell us what the next steps might be for the pro-democracy movement and what we should be watching for and encouraging in whatever way we can?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you to the presenters today.
First of all, I want to note that we have had you, Chief Duraiappah and Chief Larkin, and two very progressive and excellent witnesses in Chief Peter Sloly of Ottawa and Chief Dale McFee of Edmonton, testify before us. In hearing four chiefs of police and experienced police officers, it seems to me that there is a full recognition of systemic racism. There is an expectation that, as was said here today, we have the best training system in the world. We have the best recruitment. We have ideas as to how to deal with this.
I'm just wondering—
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Oh, I'm sorry to deprive you of the benefit of my visage.
The idea, what I'm trying to convey, is that all of this was true six months ago. This leadership was in place, all of these training programs, etc. However, for the last six months we've witnessed the visible effects of systemic racism in policing in Canada.
Is there something missing from this picture? I know there are some nuances in your responses here today, but if all of this is taken at face value, do we have a problem or do we not? I think it's pretty clear that we do. What I want to know from you folks, if you can help us, is this: Are there things we ought to be recommending as a committee that will actually substantially affect this? It is recognized as a crisis by the public, and I think we need to have something by way of solutions.
Let me ask you, for example, about the training aspect. We do know about, and you've talked about it here, the cultural awareness, the de-escalation, the anti-bias training. All of that, if it were properly executed, would have actually prevented many of the deaths we've seen in the last number of months. Something is missing from this picture.
We have heard, and that this has to be repeated, it's not a one-time thing. Are there national standards, not just tool kits, that ought to be put in place to ensure that use of force is applied properly, and properly across the country, or do we rely on 200 individual police forces to get it right?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
No, but if I may interrupt, you do have to be responsible where the interaction takes place. The principle that we talked about—the anti-bias need, the de-escalation need, the recognition of that cultural awareness need—has to be present. It appears that it's not present and that's why we have these incidents. Yes, there may well need to be other systems, but we still need standards that are applicable and acceptable across the country.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
To both witnesses, thank you for your presentation. I wish I had more than five minutes.
First of all, Ms. Whitman, thank you for your exposition and your passionate concern about Chantel Moore and the very sad loss of her life—one amongst many, unfortunately. I've looked at, as many have, the report card by your association on the implementation, or lack thereof, of the recommendations of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls report. Under “Right to Justice”, you talk about the statement that indigenous women and girls are over-policed and over-incarcerated, yet under-protected as victims of crime. You've given the government a fail on implementing these recommendations. I think that's a shame, obviously, and I'm sure you do as well.
What do you think this committee should do as a first step in making a recommendation? Obviously, transformative change has to happen, but it has to start somewhere. What should we do first in terms of recommending what needs to happen? You talked about truth. You talked about respect. We have some recognition that there's systemic racism in Canada and in policing, but what's the first step?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you very much. I hope we can do some justice to our mandate.
Mr. Fantino, I don't have a lot of time, but I do want—
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Mr. Falconer. I'm very sorry about that.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
A slip of the tongue, obviously. I saw his name when I was looking up yours, so it must have been a case you had involving him.
Carleton University's criminology department is severing its ties with student placement programs with law enforcement agencies as a result of systemic racism. Police and prison institutions are “hostile to outside critiques”, show “imperviousness to reform” and “do not have the leadership capacity to engage in the transformative change” that's required, says a statement from its Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Is that a position with which you can agree? Is the state of things so bad that there is no hope for civilian oversight of police forces in Canada? We have over 200 of them, plus the RCMP. Is civilian oversight a working model in our system today?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Falconer, for addressing my questions in other answers.
I have another one. What do you think of the possibility...and how could we create enforceable standards on the use of force—mandating de-escalation, outlawing racial profiling and things of that nature—and ensure that these are enforceable across the country, making it the standard that every police force has to follow to avoid the kinds of situations we're seeing now?
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