With no seat in Parliament, we haven’t been hearing much from our main man in the NDP, Jagmeet Singh. Now that we are hearing from him, well, it ain’t that great.
This weekend, Singh decided to pop into Question Period, Evan Solomon’s CTV show, for a one-on-one interview about the by-election called in Burnaby (in which he can finally win his seat) and the upcoming federal election. Things were going smoothly, until the end when the floor fell out for our boy.
At the end of the interview, Solomon asked Jagmeet Singh about the latest development in the weird situation with China that’s arisen after the arrest of a Huawei executive—an editorial in The Hill Times by the Chinese ambassador accusing Canada of white supremacy.
“Sorry, who, uh, who accused who of white supremacy,” a flummoxed Singh asked in response.
Solomon re-asked the question and Singh got his footing, finally launching into a boilerplate answer that started it with “I don’t know if there is any evidence of that suggestion,” which drew some mockery online.
Singh continued on and inexplicably focused on Trump rather than the Chinese government. Solomon steered him back to the question at hand saying, “I know you’re criticizing the Trump administration but China has detained two Canadians, I just wonder if you've got your eye on the ball here.”
Singh, flummoxed again, stumbled through a response that didn't touch upon the white supremacy accusation. Saying, “right… right, so with China’s detention of Canadians that is deeply concerning. We need to make sure that anyone being detained, it’s being done in the appropriate manner, it's being done in the right manner, there is full due process, laws are being followed.”
“Their protection is paramount, we’re concerned right now with the detention of Canadians, that is something all Canadians are concerned with and we want to see our country make sure that those folks are safe and they’re returned safely and that the intention is being done not as a backlash to Canada following the rule of law.”
The fact that Singh, or his handlers, aren’t up on this news story—one of the bigger and wilder ones currently cycling Canadian news—heading into a national television interview is not the greatest.
To break down the story, Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese company Huawei, was arrested in Canada on December 1. She now awaits possible extradition to the United States to face charges of violating sanctions on Iran. She has since been released on $7.5 million bail.
The Globe and Mail reported that since Meng’s arrest, 13 Canadians in China have been detained—eight have since been released—two of which have been accused of what is essentially espionage. Last week, in The Hill Times, Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to China, wrote that Canada is holding China to a double standard. Lu claimed Canadian pundits calling Meng’s arrest due process and the detention of Canadians a bullying tactic were upholding a double standard.
“The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy,” reads Lu’s editorial. “What they have been doing is not showing respect for the rule of law, but mocking and trampling the rule of law.”
One expert in Chinese politics told Vancouver's City News that the Canadian detainees were being used as pawns in a diplomatic chess game, and that “their fate is completely tied to the fate of Mrs. Meng.”
Hopefully, Singh and his people get their act together heading into the election ‘cause it sure would be nice to have a debate that isn't just Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer squaring off over who is the better dad.
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