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Dear Chairman Xi,

Or should I say “President for Life” or “the Great”? And congratulations on your promotion to the ranks of the materialist immortals and theoretical geniuses. I see on Amazon that “If one doesn’t understand The Thoughts of Xi Jinping, he cannot understand the future of China and the world.” But I wonder if I could ask you to hold off on doing anything rash for, say, 15 years. Or maybe 25.

It’s not entirely evident that you place great store by the Thoughts of Canada or even those of Little Potato. Perhaps once we truly understand the thoughts of Xi Jinping we’ll grasps that we wretched foreigners are to kowtow good and hard if we don’t want something to… happen to our businesspersons, our economy or who knows, our airspace as well. Oh, and our cybernetworks to which our power plants are linked. But here’s the thing.

We are a moral superpower. If you do mean nasty ugly things we will disapprove of you in ways that would wilt a hundred flowers. Eventually. Oh wait. Your lovely regime already did so, and pronto. But never mind. The point about our “eventually” is that we are building some submarines so if you do something nasty like attack Taiwan, or Japan, or Australia, or Europe, or North America, we can sink your battleship. Or aircraft carrier. Or immense fleet of same. It’s only fair.

OK. Not building. Thinking of maybe building. But if we ever get to it they will be very cool submarines. Not as cool as the Australian ones with nuclear power. But a whole lot better than the second-rate junk we got from Britain in 1998 after Pakistan said “No thanks”. Yes, the Victoria class that caught fire, fell over and sank into the sea. See, we were just kidding back then, confident that the mighty U.S. navy would protect us while we pranced around denouncing American imperialism.

We’re not so sure today. The decline of the American empire that our chattering classes longed for and gloated over appears to be arriving and product is not quite as advertised. So we’re going to retire those Victorian beauties in about two decades. After all, the Germans nearly won the Battle of the Atlantic in 1941 with subs launched in 1891 and the pace of technological change has obviously slowed since. And when we do, we’re going to build some first-rate submarines. Or second-rate. Nuclear power is just so yucky, don’t you think?

Oh wait. You don’t. You’re engaging in a massive buildup of your nuclear arsenal, nuclear-powered navy, hypersonic missiles, cyberwarfare and all that stuff with which you will finally restore the Mandate of Heaven or whatever it is that means you get to tell everyone what to do and kill them if they don’t. You think political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, not a flower. What a mean man. Still, in case you have a point, we need some subs.

Unfortunately it turns out we’re not very good at defence procurement. Probably you knew already. I suspect some grim people on your staff and in your gigantic private army including PLA Unit 61398 are probing with bayonets, so to speak, and finding us sort of mushy just now. But look, we’re Canada and nothing bad can happen to us, so back off now or we’ll send a protest note. A stern one. Not exactly wolf warrior diplomacy. More agitated house cat.

You laugh? You ask how either world war would have gone if we’d had the kind of complacent incompetence about defence procurement then that we have now? Well ha ha to you Mr. Great because we did. We entered World War One with coal-burning ships firing black powder shells. Admittedly only two. But one was called “Rainbow” so see how progressive we were even then? (The other ran aground but we got it off the shoal again.) And we started World War Two with only six tanks but it was OK because they were obsolete anyway. And our troops trained by pointing sticks and shouting bang which was very good for their lungs.

If you can spare a moment from being great and all, you might reflect that once provoked we rapidly armed ourselves, played a major role in both World Wars which our side did win, along with the Cold War. Despite, not because of, not having a “Great” ruler since Alfred of Wessex. We do the active self-reliant citizen thing not the insane grandiose dictator. But we do seem to have developed a bit of a paunch lately and need to work out for a bit.

So as noted, have fun being great but please don’t attack for at least 20 years.

Yours sincerely Canada the Moral Superpower.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.



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Will anyone in government go to jail?

Because someone in government perhaps should.

The revelation, when it came, actually wasn’t much of one. The CBC’s Fifth Estate, no less, revealed the sordid, appalling truth, which my colleague Brian Lilley and others at the Toronto Sun had long suspected.

Namely, the Trudeau government’s failed vaccine deal with China’s dictatorship had profound consequences – most notably, Canada’s acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines being delayed by many, many months.

Which, one can reasonably conclude, led to too many unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths in Canada.

“The federal government’s failed collaboration with a vaccine manufacturing company in China early in the pandemic has led to a delay of nearly two years in efforts to create a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine,” wrote the CBC.

“Government documents obtained by The Fifth Estate show that Canadian officials wasted months waiting for a proposed vaccine to arrive from China for further testing and spent millions upgrading a production facility that never made a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.”

Lilley, and this writer, believed that the Chinese vaccine fiasco caused a critical delay of months. The CBC (amazingly) says it was two years. But let’s give the Trudeau government the benefit of the doubt, and say that the collapse of the CanSino deal (in March 2020) and the Trudeau Liberals’ belated acknowledgement of that (in August 2020) – and the commencement of a meagre amount of vaccinations in Canada (in December 2020) – meant a delay of only ten months.

So: how many Canadians were killed by Covid in ten months in 2020?

More than fifteen thousand. That’s 1,500 deaths every month.

There are all kinds of variables, here. Was a death directly attributable to the coronavirus? Didn’t nations with vaccines experience greater mortality rates? Is there a direct causal link between the failed China deal and the deaths of Canadians?

That last question is the one that lawyers – and police, and coroners – will perhaps need to consider: did the Trudeau government’s vaccine failure lead to the death of Canadian citizens?

The CBC’s report, and common sense, strongly suggest that the answer is “yes.” And, sure, the Trudeau regime’s negligence may not have led to thousands of needless deaths.

But it inarguably led to some deaths. And that, then, should have legal consequences.

In the United States, they have greater experience with governmental failures that lead to wrongful deaths.

Most notoriously, and most recently, there have been successful prosecutions of police officers – as in the murder of George Floyd – for causing death while acting in their “official” capacity.

Other examples: the former Michigan governor, and others, charged with perjury and manslaughter for their role in the lead poisoning of water in Flint, Michigan. And there have been many, many instances of what is called “public health malpractice” in the U.S., leading to prosecutions of government officials at all levels.

In Canada, too, we have seen government officials prosecuted for failing to do their job properly. In 2000 in Walkerton, Ont., most notoriously, six people died – and about 2,000 became seriously ill – when E. Coli contaminated the local water supply.

In that case, Walkerton officials Stan Koebel was jailed for a year – and sentenced to house arrest, in Frank Koebel’s case – for their role in the contamination.

So, it’s a fair question: does the Trudeau government’s vaccine failure – and the sickness and death that needlessly resulted from that failure – rise to the level of a crime? Should someone be facing manslaughter charges?

Following this week’s revelations, it’s not an unfair question.  It needs to be examined.

Will it?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


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Dear Amazon,

We have to talk. And yes, it’s one of those.

It’s going to be painful because we go way back. I knew you when you were just a cute little online book company. And when you grew up, wow! Beautiful, healthy, rich, the very incarnation of the new economy. Until you turned into a menacing Behemoth, joining Microsoft in the Cyber-Hall-of-Hate along with Facebook, Twitter etc. Which Apple somehow avoided. But that’s not the point.

The point is menacing Behemoths. By which I don’t mean you. At least not exactly. I’m not one to hate you for being big and successful. Too big and successful to notice me any more, possibly. Why, you’re now the second-largest employer in the United States according to NBC. Although I remind you of our long and, I thought, mostly happy relationship. And yes, I admit to kind of depending on your presence in my life. Where else would I get laundry detergent, microwavable rice, throw pillows, things that hold electronic devices and even, I confess with disarming quaintness, the occasional book? Plus shampoo, headsets, dish towels, catnip and, well, you know my account.

So I thought we had a good thing going. But lately I’m becoming very unhappy with your wandering affections. No matter what I order from you, just about, it turns out to be made in China. And there’s nothing cute, beautiful or healthy about that affair, because China is the menacing Behemoth I do have in mind and you’re in deep.

I’m told half of the sellers on Amazon are China-based. And even in the United States, where it’s just 44%, more than 60% of new sellers are Chinese. Elsewhere 75% are. So there’s no denying your new love. The question is what to make of it.

At this point someone, possible Senator Yuen Pau Woo, will accuse me of racism. What have I got against the Chinese? Nothing. Frankly, if I disliked them I’d want them to live under Communism. If I really really disliked them. But I don’t.

As a matter of fact, I don’t dislike anyone enough to want them to live under Communism. Except, in my darker moments, people who make excuses for it in free societies. “Try it,” I growl with K. And the problem is, I’m starting to think you’re in that category.

You may say look, stuff from China is cheap and we’re making a fortune here. Suggesting you’re only interested in the money, not labour or environmental standards or the fact that the entire Chinese economy, like the People’s Liberation Army, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party, helping fund their ataxic “Hundred-Year Marathon” to take over the world in the next 30 years.

So what’s your story? Are you denying that the Chinese state treats workers and the environment badly even when not conducting actual genocide or mass murder? Or that it has ghastly geopolitical ambitions? Or are you just saying you don’t care, you’re for sale and the price is right?

If so, you’d have company. Nike’s CEO recently said “we are a brand of China and for China”. But their footwear shall not pass my toes again. And I’ll have to reconsider our relationship too unless you smarten up and mend your ways.

There. I said it. This letter is an “intervention” and beating around the bush would defeat the purpose. I have to be frank. I need you to change.

I know it will take time. You need to come to terms with it. And you may be feeling a sense of panic. Am I asking you to give up everything, totally change your character, stop being you?

No. Certainly not. I value what we had. I remember the good times. And I think we can have them again. But not until this problem is addressed. For your sake as well as mine, because honestly if you’re playing the ruthless hedonist I think you’ll find you’re the one being used. The CCP is just as unprincipled, far more ruthless and they have the guns. But anyway I think you’re better than that.

NBC commented that, as Jeff Bezos wanders off with his bezillions, “the company faces a slew of regulatory obstacles and unionization efforts”. Yeah, well, life is tough and so are you. And as I said, I’m not sympathetic with people who envy success. But this China business is a whole other kettle of communism. So I suggest we start with a simple but meaningful step.

For every product you offer, list the country of origin. With no shell games or excuses. Forget the California storefronts. I want to know where the controlling interest lies. Other retailers do it, and I have deliberately paid more for a product not made for the benefit of Communist tyrants.

Perhaps you’ll find that nobody cares except me. Or not enough to lay out a premium for something made in Canada, the United States, the Philippines, or I know not where. In which case you’ll say so long boob. But just maybe you’ll find that your customers, who love you, will band together to save you from yourself.

Anyway, I’m determined to try. And now you know.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.



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The U.S. is threatening to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed this during a bipartisan congressional hearing on Monday. “Here’s what I propose – and join those who are proposing – is a diplomatic boycott,” she said. The plan would see “lead countries of the world withhold their attendance at the Olympics.”

The Speaker continued, “Let’s not honor the Chinese government by having heads of state go to China. For heads of state to go to China in light of a genocide that is ongoing – while you’re sitting there in your seat – really begs the question, what moral authority do you have to speak again about human rights any place in the world?”

While I strongly disagree with Pelosi’s left-wing positions on politics, economics, foreign policy and many other matters, she’s absolutely right on this issue.

Since 2014, China has been repeatedly accused of genocide against the Uyghurs, the Turkic ethnic group primarily located in Central and East Asia. A United Nations human rights panel revealed in 2018 that an estimated 1 million Uyghurs are being held in what has been described as a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.” Gay McDougall, a U.S.-based lawyer who sat on the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, told Reuters on Aug. 10, 2018 that 2 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims had been forced into “political camps for indoctrination” in the western Xinjiang region.

This accusation of long-term genocide is horrific enough on its own. You also have to take into consideration the various attacks and massacres caused by the Chinese Communists since taking power in 1949. This includes everything against the Tibetan people, Hui people, Taiwanese, Mongols, Hong Kongers – and their own countrymen, from the Guangdong Massacre to Tiananmen Square.

Hence, a boycott of Beijing 2022 seems appropriate.

It wouldn’t be the first time an Olympics faced a partial or mass exodus. Some Jewish athletes boycotted or were restricted from participating in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, Germany due to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The first boycott involving countries occurred during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, followed by 1964 (Tokyo, Japan) and 1976 (Montreal).

The most significant boycotts occurred in 1980 (Moscow, USSR) and 1984 (Los Angeles). The former witnessed a massive 66 countries refuse to send athletes to the Iron Curtain, while the latter involved 18 countries that balked at sending their athletes to the U.S. These two Olympic boycotts were memorable components of the Cold War, as they were widely covered and politically charged from start to finish.

There was also a small boycott of communist and socialist countries during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. It was led by North Korea, and included Cuba and four other nations.

What would make Beijing 2022 unique is that it would be the first boycott of a Winter Olympics. Hence, a different group of countries that specialize in winter sports would be directly affected by this decision.

Which brings us to Canada.

Our country has become one of the world’s best at the Winter Olympics. We rank fifth overall on the all-time medal table. Since the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, we’ve finished no lower than fifth place on the medal table. Canada also finished first at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver by winning a record 14 gold medals.

At the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Canadian Olympic team finished an impressive third behind Norway and Germany (who both tied our record gold medal haul). That’s our country’s second-best finish at the Winter Games. Many assumed we would have a strong chance of finishing first overall in Beijing next year.

That being said, how can Canada go to China in good conscience?

The Uyghur genocide and situation in Hong Kong should give us plenty of pause. Meng Wanzhou and Huawei Technologies has been a significant conflict in Canada-China relations since Dec. 2018 due to various safety and security concerns. The Two Michaels (Spavor and Kovrig) have sat in a Chinese death camp for almost 2 1/2 years, and these Canadian citizens are no closer to coming home.

The sticking point is – as I’m sure most of you surmised – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

While the PM has taken a firm stance in the Meng Wanzhou affair, his government quietly partnered with Huawei to fund university research in Canada. The Liberals have walked on eggshells with respect to the Two Michaels, and the diplomatic backchannels aren’t having much effect.

Trudeau’s cabinet even refused to participate in the Feb. 22 motion declaring that China had committed genocide against the Uyghurs. It passed 266-0, for the record.

Trudeau doesn’t have a good poker face when it comes to China. He desperately wants to follow in his late father’s giant footsteps and protect this political and economic relationship. It’s time for him to realize that today’s China doesn’t care about Canada, and President Xi Jinping is more than happy to wave his mighty hand and dismiss our very existence.

I never thought I’d write something quite like this in the next sentence, but here goes nothing. When it comes to the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Justin Trudeau should follow Nancy Pelosi’s lead and support a diplomatic boycott.

 

Michael Taube, a long-time newspaper columnist and political commentator, was a speechwriter for former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.