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Results: 1 - 15 of 47
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Yes, Chair. Thank you very much.
At a meeting on January 30, we asked the government to produce a list of the 14 countries it had indicated were in support of our position on, and concern about, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Fourteen countries have publicly endorsed Canada's position, as well as an unnamed number that have not offered their names publicly. The committee was offered a list of these and I'm wondering if that has been produced yet. I believe it was Mr. Thoppil who offered to do that. Has it been made available to the committee yet?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Ambassador Barton, for your opening remarks.
I want to echo Mr. Bergeron's comments and acknowledge your extraordinary efforts on a personal level in personally visiting Mr. Kovrig, Mr. Spavor and Mr. Schellenberg and offering them your support. It is very meaningful, and I've heard words to that effect, so thank you for doing that.
You were appointed, of course. I want to go into the effectiveness of some of the efforts internationally.
We may have a second round, Mr. Chair, and I hope we will in order to do some of that.
You were appointed only recently, in the middle of an election. You haven't appeared before a committee before, and this is the first opportunity for us to listen to you and to raise some things that have been raised in the public domain, of which I'm sure you're aware. As late as today, we had a release from Democracy Watch that suggests that your holdings, your history, your current holdings, those of your wife and her involvement in investments in the Asia-Pacific region give rise to a conflict of interest.
I don't want to get into blind trusts and any of those things because they are detailed and, potentially, would lead to a big discussion. I do just want to ask you this question because Canadians deserve an answer. What do you say to Canadians as to whether they should feel comfortable with you in this role, given the fact that it's been suggested that these involvements would lead you to be open to influence, given the suggestion that perhaps, consciously or unconsciously, your own approach and attitude in dealing with the Chinese on the issues may be influenced by your personal interests?
What do you say to Canadians about that criticism and that allegation? I want to give you an opportunity to respond to that.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.
There are a number of other issues dealing with your involvement in China with the McKinsey group, and some of your statements about being bullish on China, on the belt and road project, which some have suggested is contrary to Canada's interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and the notable comment about drinking the Kool-Aid about China and President Xi. Do you have any thoughts on that now that are different from what you expressed so effusively to the Council on Foreign Relations and others?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Tell me, Ambassador—
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Okay.
You mentioned human rights. I want to raise another issue, which is about McKinsey having a seminar very close to the internment camp for Uighurs. Were you sensitive about human rights in that situation, or were you aware of it?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Ambassador.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you. I'll ask a quick question that's similar to Monsieur Bergeron's.
You were very bullish, of course, as you say, on China, but also on the one belt, one road blueprint. We've gone into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or the CPTPP, with other countries specifically to attempt to strengthen economic ties and not to be dominated by China. Do you think your work and enthusiasm for the Chinese project runs counter to that strategy and does that cause problems for you?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you. Fair enough.
I have one last question. It has to do with the question at the beginning—the point of order—with regard to the 14 countries that support Canada and the others who say they do but won't say it loudly enough for others to hear.
Is there any comprehensive strategic plan for working with them? We've heard nothing about a task force with other countries—as we have seen in the Iranian situation—and special efforts in the PMO, for example, to work with all of these people in a systematic way.
Is something like that going on, and would it help?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Ambassador.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
These times are not long enough to have a full discussion. Hopefully, we can get you to come back.
We're obviously interested here in making sure that everything is being done that can be done with respect to the detainees. Also, we're concerned about the overall relationship and the levers that we aren't using that could be used. Have you discovered any new ones since you've become ambassador?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
I want to go back to the question of bullying as a tactic, or as a fact of life, perhaps, in some international relationships. We've seen it with the American administration in some cases. I won't go into detail.
What disturbs me is that we're told there are 14 countries that are on our side and are willing to say so, but there is an unknown number of countries, perhaps a large number, that aren't. They're not willing to say so, obviously out of some sort of fear of repercussions, retaliation or some sort of bullying. I find that worrisome, as a citizen of the world. There are a lot of countries in the world; I'd like to see the list to see how many are there but not really there.
What do we do about that? Is there something that tells us what we need to do?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for coming.
I did have one question at the beginning. I asked you about it earlier. You're listed as the ADM of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. We keep hearing about Global Affairs Canada. I'm assuming they're the same thing. One may be more of a brand. Could you explain the difference?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you. I think knowing the difference might help some people on the committee and in the general public.
I also have some other questions, but I want to follow up briefly on Mr. Genuis's question about bringing permanent residents back to Canada. I didn't get a confirmation from you that Canada would be happy to bring permanent residents back to Canada as part of this evacuation, as long as there's consent from the Chinese government. Is that correct?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt. I understand that. Mr. Genuis was speaking about a person who wasn't accompanying a Canadian citizen child but was a permanent resident of Canada. My question is this: Would the Canadian government assist in the evacuation of such a person, assuming that the Chinese government approved?
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