Some days bring news that is harder and harder to believe … like this story, in the Globe and Mail, which says that “Government documents, seen by The Globe and Mail and marked secret and for Canadian eyes only, show that officials at the highest levels of Global Affairs were alarmed that General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, had cancelled winter military exercises with the PLA in 2019.“
Yes, you read that correctly. Ian Shugart, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and now the Clerk of the Privy Council and Canada’s top civil servant and right hand man to Prime Minister Trudeau, said that his (then) department was afraid that ““Unilateral decisions [driven principally, the report says, by concerns voiced by the U.S. that the training could result in unintended and undesired knowledge transfer to the PLA i.e. making them better at fighting on Canadian or US soil] to postpone and/or cancel previously agreed DND/CAF co-operation with the PLA risk being interpreted by China or others in an unintended (and unhelpful) way … [and this] … could also damage Canada’s long-term defence and security relationship with China.”“
Wait! Canada has a “long-term defence and security relationship with China?” Since when? Who knew? When did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or former Foreign Ministers Stéphane Dion and Chrystia Freeland or current Minister François-Philippe Champagne tell us about that?
We were China’s ally in 1941 when hundreds of Canadians died defending Hong Kong. But that all changed, and by beginning of the 1950s we were enemies, in Korea, where hundreds more Canadians died fighting against Chinese troops and against their (and Russia’s) North Korean clients. Despite the many changes in Canada and China, I have never in my nearly 80 years of life heard a single Canadian prime minister or foreign minister talk about any kind of “long-term defence and security relationship with China,” have you?
We learned that “Gen. Vance allowed Canadian Armed Forces personnel to compete at the 2019 Military World Games when there were no objections from Canada’s allies in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing group: Australia, Britain, the U.S. and New Zealand.” The World Military Games are a reasonably long standing (nearly 30 years) series of summer and winter games intended to “promote sport in armed forces, all over the world. By promoting sports, CISM fosters confidence & cohesion amongst soldiers, creates military fit & motivated soldiers, enhances attractiveness of military service, identifies, trains & motivates talents and provides experience by international competition …[and] … to use sport for deconfliction & peace building between countries.” Canada has participated since the beginning, I think, and even though China used the 2019 Games as a major propaganda event …
… I think that participating was not a bad choice since so many other countries, including the USA, took part:
But inviting China to send soldiers to train in Canada was a step too far.
Who did it?
The Globe and Mail article does not say who extended the invitation for “six to eight People’s Liberation Army members” to participate in military training in Base Petawawa, just a short drive North-West of Ottawa. In fact, the article explains that “The documents were released through access-to-information law, although the department of Global Affairs later said they had not been adequately censored before release owing to human error. Alexandre Drago, Global Affairs’ access-to-information director, asked The Globe not to report from the unexpurgated documents, saying they contain “confidential and secret classified information that should not have been released outside of government” and information that is “injurious to Canada’s national security, national defence and international relations,” as well as to individuals. The Globe is selectively reporting on the documents.“
It appears that Global Affairs Canada extended the invitation after an interdepartmental standing committee, the Defence Coordination Dialogue, (a Canadian Forces general officer and a senior public servant from Global Affairs) which met in April 2018, declared the event “non-sensitive” (pps. 28 and 29 of Mr Levant’s documents).
In question period, in the House of Commons, earlier today, Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole explicitly laid the blame for the invitation directly on Chrystia Freeland because she was the responsible minister from January 2017 until November 2019. He asked her very specific questions: why did she try to overrule the Chief of the Defence Staff? She dillied and she dallied and she shillied and she shallied but she could not answer the question because to do so would be to admit that she and the prime minister she serves and many senior officials are fools and cowards whose only China policy is appeasement.
Now, let’s not all jump off the deep end and, as Mr Levant does, and say that Justin Trudeau is a pro-communist ideologue who is putting Canada in danger. Let’s just say, instead, as Konrad Yakabuski does, in another piece in the Globe and Mail, that “The extreme delicacy with which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has treated China in the two years since Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were imprisoned there has not made Canada look good. Mr. Trudeau’s sheepish public declarations regarding the detention of the two men – in defiance of their basic rights – has led some Canadians to wonder whether our once empathetic Prime Minister has become too detached … [and] .. The almost comical manner with which the Trudeau government has played for time on banning Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from participating in the construction of Canada’s 5G networks speaks volumes about its inertia.“
But, “sheepish” and “comical” are, it seems to me, about the right way to describe Canada’s foreign policy since late 2015:
Canada needs better leadership in pretty well every single policy area, but in foreign policy above all. Canada deserves better.
In 2019 almost ⅓ of all Canadian voters selected the candidates approved by our unethical man-child prime minister. Now, I know that about one in every five voters will vote for their Liberal candidate even if (s)he turn our to be a mass murdering clown and I also know that about ¼ of all Canadian voters will never vote for a Conservative. But that leaves 50+% of voters who will consider a Conservative candidate.
Now is the time! Canadians must, finally, shake off their own lethargy and they must ignore the pleadings of many bought and paid for “Justin-Journos” and vote for Canada. That means coming out in record numbers, and, as they have done twice in my lifetime (1958 and 1984) elect a Conservative majority government with a whopping mandate (50%+ of the popular vote) for real change that really matters and, by so doing, totally repudiate the “sheepish” and “comical” Justin Trudeau, and dump him (and his “ethical blind spot“) and most of his cabinet ministers on to the political dung heap where he and they belong.
* I’m guessing that Mr Levant shared those documents with the Globe and Mail and that it did not directly credit him because both Mr Levant, himself, and the Good Grey Globe both agree that he and his Rebel News outlet are not trusted by most Canadians and anything attributed to him or Rebel News will be suspect. I am certain that the documents are real. First, Global Affairs‘ reaction, in asking the Globe and Mail not to publish, suggest that, and, second, I am 99% certain that Mr Levant is not silly enough to falsify such a claim.