SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO
The NDP’s foreign affairs critic, Paul Dewar, who has been a member of the Commons foreign affairs committee since 2007, says it is the first time he can remember a foreign government trying to dictate who can testify before the committee.
OTTAWA—China is pressuring a committee of Canadian Parliament to rescind its invitation to the leader of Hong Kong’s democracy movement to appear before it and give testimony, The Canadian Press has learned.
Martin Lee was invited to give a Tuesday briefing to MPs on the House of Commons foreign affairs committee on the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
The Chinese ambassador to Canada, however, has issued a letter to the committee telling it to butt out of China’s domestic affairs, issuing a thinly veiled warning to not rock the boat on Sino-Canada relations.
Lee, a veteran pro-democracy activist, was one of several people arrested last Decemberafter more than two months of demonstrations against restrictions that the Beijing government is imposing on Hong Kong’s first election in 2017.
The protests paralyzed Hong Kong and gave rise to a new opposition movement that is seen by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a threat to his country’s stability.
The Chinese government regularly sends toughly worded messages to democratic countries that entertain political figures that it does not approve of, such as the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
A letter from Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaojui said his government “learned” about plans for Lee to testify about political reform in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
“We hereby express our deep concern and strong opposition,” the envoy’s letter said.
“Hong Kong’s political development falls entirely within China’s domestic affairs. The Chinese side resolutely opposes any foreign governments, institutions and individuals to interfere in Hong Kong affairs,” he added.
“In consideration of the sensitive and complicated situation in Hong Kong, we hope that the Canadian side will not hold such a hearing, not intervene in Hong Kong’s internal affairs in any form, so as not to send wrong signals to the outside world and cause any disturbance to China-Canada relations.”
David Mulroney, Canada’s ambassador to China until 2012, said Luo’s letter reflects “an incomplete understanding” of how Parliament works.
“The ambassador needs to be aware of Canadian history,” said Mulroney, the author of a new book on Canada-China relations.
Police are investigating a possible link between an alleged sex assault on a crowded SkyTrain and an attack at the University of British Columbia last month.
Transit Police say they’ve identified a suspect after an eyewitness account and photo of the incident, taken on a Canada Line train during morning rush hour Thursday, went viral with more than 1,400 shares on Facebook.
“Dear girl on skytrain…I saw the guy that was sexually harassing you. He was feeling and rubbing the back of your right leg and butt with his left hand, moving up and down,” the post on the UBC Confessions Facebook page reads. “I saw you moving away from him, I could tell that you were visibly uncomfortable. I took a picture of him touching you and talked to the police right after I got off the SkyTrain at Bridgeport to UBC with the pervert.”
WINNIPEG — Experts are recommending a man who beheaded a fellow passenger aboard a Greyhound bus should be transferred from a mental facility to a Winnipeg hospital with an eye to moving him to a community group home.
It’s also being suggested that Vince Li be granted unescorted outings in the city.
Li’s psychiatrist, Dr. Steven Kremer, told a criminal code board review hearing Monday that Li has shown “profound improvement” and is at low risk to reoffend. Risk assessments done by several other doctors came to the same conclusion, the board heard.
Li, 46, has not had any hallucinations in over a year and understands the need to take his medication, Kremer said. Should Li be transferred to a group home, staff there would ensure he continued the medication necessary to manage his schizophrenia, the doctor said.
“His likelihood to re-engage in violence is low.”
Li has been confined to a psychiatric institution north of Winnipeg since he was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, mutilating and beheading McLean on a bus to Winnipeg in July 2008. Li sat next to the 22-year-old McLean after the young man smiled at him and asked how he was doing.
Li said he heard the voice of God telling him to kill the young carnival worker or “die immediately.” Li repeatedly stabbed McLean who unsuccessfully fought for his life. As passengers fled the bus, Li continued stabbing and mutilating the body before he was arrested.
The review board has gradually given Li more freedom, including unescorted visits to Selkirk, Man., and escorted visits to Winnipeg and local beaches.
Li entered the hearing Monday unshackled, sitting and listening quietly while his case was discussed.
The board is expected to issue a decision within a week.
Ken Mackenzie, manager of the forensic mental health program at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, told the hearing Li has experienced some public backlash on unescorted outings, but was “able to manage it quite effectively.”
The rapid pace of condo development in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown has prompted a local advocacy group to start petitioning for a moratorium on new building.
“We’re seeing a wave of development that is changing the character of Chinatown. It’s become another Gastown or Yaletown,” said King-mong Chan, who works with a Chinatown planning group through the Carnegie Centre Action Project. “And it’s condos and luxury hotels, when there’s a wait list for affordable housing here.”
Mr. Chan and his group, who were out collecting signatures this week, are not alone in being worried about the transformation of Chinatown in the past two years, with 780 units of new housing developed or proposed since a new neighbourhood plan went into effect in 2012.
Former city planners, people whose families have a long history in Chinatown, and heritage advocates have expressed concern about the wave of building because it is not bringing the community benefits they thought it would and it does not mesh with the neighbourhood’s historic architecture.
Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang had asked university to investigate teachings of sociologist Ricardo Duchesne
CBC News Posted: Jan 07, 2015 9:34 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 08, 2015 12:54 PM AT
A University of New Brunswick vice-president is defending a professor’s academic freedom in the wake of a recent complaint of racism.
Jang contends the sociology professor’s comments constitute hate speech.
“He was drawing comparisons to say Hong Kong and Japan, its teeming dirty cities and things like that — saying all Asians are dirty,” he said.
Last summer, Jang complained to Robert MacKinnon, a UNB vice-president in Saint John, and said Duchesne was damaging the university’s reputation.
“He was pushing one perspective and using his university affiliation to get it across,” said Jang. “That is not proper academic work. Period,” he said.