Connect with us

Headlines

Canadian government green-lights formal extradition process for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

Editor

Published

on

OTTAWA — The federal Justice Department gave the go-ahead Friday for an extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, marking the formal start of the high-profile process that has put Canada in a deeply uncomfortable position between two superpowers.

Canada’s relationship with China — its second-biggest trading partner — has deteriorated since Meng’s December arrest in Vancouver.

The arrest of the Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer has angered Beijing, which has warned Ottawa of serious consequences unless she is released.

China has criticized Canada for acting on what it sees as a politically motivated extradition request from the Americans, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump publicly contemplated intervening in Meng’s case in the interests of securing a better trade deal with China.

Throughout, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained Canada is simply following the rule of law.

The government news release Friday announcing the decision appeared to take into consideration the deeply sensitive nature of Meng’s case and the allegations of political interference that surround it. The first line in the release declares: “Canada is a country governed by the rule of law.”

It goes on to say the decision follows a “thorough and diligent review” of the evidence in this case.

Ultimately, Justice Minister David Lametti must decide whether Meng is extradited, which is why his department said he will not comment on the facts of the case.

It heads back to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The extradition hearing won’t render a verdict of guilt or innocence. If Meng is eventually extradited, her actual trial will take place in the United States.

Following Friday’s decision, Meng’s defence team said it’s disappointed Lametti let the process proceeding “in the face of the political nature of the U.S. charges and where the president of the United States has repeatedly stated that he would interfere in Ms. Meng’s case if he thought it would assist the U.S. negotiations with China over a trade deal.”

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives at a parole office in Vancouver, Dec. 12, 2018. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The statement, signed by David J. Martin, continued by saying the defence is also concerned the minister gave his approval even though the acts the U.S. wants to try Meng for would not be an offence in Canada.

“Our client maintains that she is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the U.S. prosecution and extradition constitutes an abuse of the processes of law.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid out 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said it is “utterly dissatisfied” with Friday’s decision, calling her case “a political persecution against a Chinese high-tech enterprise.”

“The subsequent developments have proved this,” the embassy said in a statement. “The so-called ’rule of law’ and ’judicial independence’ asserted by Canada cannot cover up the mistakes made by the Canadian side on the case of Meng Wanzhou.”

Allegations levelled against Trudeau and top officials of interfering in the prosecution of engineering firm SNC-Lavalin have caught the attention of the Chinese government.

I believe fair-minded people can tell right from wrong

Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testified this week that she faced relentless pressure — and even veiled threats — from Trudeau, his senior aides, Canada’s top public servant and the finance minister’s office to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

Trudeau and other senior Liberals have denied anyone applied inappropriate pressure on Wilson-Raybould.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told reporters in Beijing that there is a lot of interest in China in how the Canadian government responds to the allegations.

Lu Kang made the comments after being asked whether he thought the Trudeau government was taking an inconsistent approach in the cases of Meng and SNC-Lavalin.

“I believe fair-minded people can tell right from wrong,” Lu said Friday during the ministry’s daily news conference. The ministry posts English transcripts of its briefings regularly.

On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland insisted in an interview that Ottawa’s handling of the Meng case has been “scrupulous.”

“Decisions that are correctly taken at the official — i.e. non-political — level have been scrupulously taken at the official non-political level and there has been no interference,” Freeland told CBC radio.

“I also want to be clear though that saying you’re a rule-of-law country doesn’t mean political decisions don’t get taken. In the Meng case, there will be a moment when a political decision needs to be taken … There is a potential path in the Meng case, as in all extradition cases, where the minister of justice… could need to take a political decision about whether to approve the extradition.”

In the days following Meng’s arrest, China arrested two Canadians in moves Western analysts interpret as attempts to pressure Canada into releasing her.

China detained Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, on allegations of engaging in activities that have endangered China’s national security. They remain in Chinese custody.

China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case.

China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

Ottawa Book Expo Author Boot Camp: What’s in it For You?

Editor

Published

on

By

Would you love to attend a writers’ book camp? If yes, then check out this upcoming boot camp on meetup.com organized in conjunction with the Ottawa Book Expo. The boot camp seeks to boost the commercial success of authors while providing a convivial atmosphere for social networking among authors. There you would learn what you need to do to boost the sale of your book. The goal of the group asides social networking is to empower authors to make money while also saving money.

What’s in it for you?

Whether you are a new writer who hasn’t published any books yetor you are a veteran writer who has been publishing for decades, a writers boot camp could still be extremely beneficial to you in a couple of ways. There, you would get to meet other writers, you would be motivated to start up your book or continue your writing journey. Ways you can benefit from a writers boot camp include:

  • You get to ask questions and have your questions answered.

The book camp is not just a place to make new friends and link up with old ones; you also get to learn new ideas. You could ask questions about any topic on writing and have these questions answered by professionals. You would also get to see other writers ask their questions, and learn from them. Your questionsare more likely to be answered directly by someone who knows their onion in the field.

  • Network with other writers

At the boot camp, you would get to make friends with other writers who would be in attendance. A lot of writers are introverts who would rather not make small talk; however, you have to remember that putting yourself out there, is what’s going to help you sell your books. You could also come along with a business card that has your name, what kind of author you are, and the links to your social media. Networking with other writers is definitely worth the time and money you’re spending at the Expo.

  • One last thing

There’s no better way to gain some exposure as a writer than starting local. The boot camp would feature experts on all types of writing. This is one of the most efficient ways to connect with other local writers who would are likely to keep in touch with you through social media or in person, you can also connect with your fans and readers who would be likely to purchase your books. If you’re thinking about attending a writers’ festival, start local, with the Ottawa Book Expo.

The event is open to all writers and publishers locally and internationally. The Expo is a grassroots-oriented author, publisher, bookseller and literary services festival which supports authors and publishers who seek to promote marginalized voices such as those of different cultural backgrounds, gender and LGBTQ communities.The Expo would hold at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park on the 20th of October 2019.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Virtual farmer’s market comes to Ottawa

Editor

Published

on

By

Ottawa first-ever virtual farmer’s market has begun delivering food from local farms straight to people’s homes.

Farm to Hand is making it easier for people who cannot access their local farmer’s markets to find local, fresh organic food by bringing ordered food right to their doors. 

“The difference between us and the farmers market is really just the convenience and the on-demandness,” Sean Mallia, the co-founder of the business, told CBC Radio’s In Town and Out.

“[Often times a] person wants to make the purchase but they don’t have the time on Saturdays to go to the farmers market. Everyone wants to eat local … so when it’s easy for them to do it, it just happens.” In Town and Out No time to drive to the farmer’s market but really want to eat local?

Connecting farmers with people 

The online platform allows farmers to list all their own products, and buyers can have the goods delivered. 

“What we really are trying to do is build that connection between farmer and consumer,” Mallia said. “When people fill up a cart … they’re not just filling a cart full of food, they’re filling a cart full of farmers and farms and their stories.”

Mallia said the aim is to connect people to the “vibrant food ecosystem” around them, and to local support farmers.

The virtual market is currently limited to the Ottawa area as a pilot project, but Mallia, 21, said the company is looking to expand.

“[We chose Ottawa because] Ottawa really cares. Ottawa really thinks about local [food] and thinks about sustainability,” he said. “It just made sense to come out of Ottawa.”

Continue Reading

Headlines

Denley: Stonebridge and Mattamy show compromise is possible over development in Ottawa

Editor

Published

on

By

In Ottawa, development proposals too often end up in acrimony and trips to the provincial planning tribunal. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Mattamy Homes and residents of the south Nepean suburb of Stonebridge work together to resolve a dispute in a way that’s likely to lead to a victory for both sides.

A little over a year ago, Mattamy created an uproar in the golf course community when it announced a plan to build 158 new homes on golf course lands and alter the Stonebridge course to make it shorter and less attractive to golfers. To residents, it looked like the first step in a plan to turn most, or all, of the course into housing.

It’s easy to see why residents were upset. When people pay a premium for a lot backing onto a golf course, there is certainly an implication that the lot will continue to back onto a golf course, but without a legally binding guarantee, it’s no sure thing.

Mattamy’s situation was understandable, too. This is a tough time to be in the golf course business in Ottawa. There are too many courses and not enough golfers so it’s no surprise that golf course owners would find the idea of turning a course into a housing development to be attractive, doubly so when the golf course is owned by a development company.

This is a tough time to be in the golf course business in Ottawa. There are too many courses and not enough golfers so it’s no surprise that golf course owners would find the idea of turning a course into a housing development to be attractive.

In the face of the local opposition, Mattamy withdrew its development application. When things cooled down, the company, the neighbours and the city started to work together on finding a solution that would satisfy everyone.

With the city-sponsored help of veteran planning consultant Jack Stirling, they came up with an unusual idea that will still let Mattamy develop its desired number of homes, in exchange for a promise to operate the course for at least 10 years and redesign it so that it remains attractive to golfers.

At the end of the 10 years, Mattamy can sell the course to the community for $6 million. To raise the money, the community working group is proposing a special levy to be paid by Stonebridge homeowners starting in 2021. The amount will range from $175 a year to $475 a year, depending on property values.

If the deal is approved by a majority of homeowners, Mattamy gets its development and a way out of the money-losing golf business. Homeowners get certainty about no future development. They can choose to keep the course going or retain the 198 acres as green space. It’s not a cheap solution, but it keeps their community as it is and preserves property values.

If a majority of homeowners backs the deal, both the levy and redevelopment will still need to be approved by the city, something scheduled for late this fall.

Stonebridge Community Association president Jay McLean was part of the working group that prepared the proposal and he’s pleased with the outcome. The community’s number one goal was preserving green space, and the deal will accomplish that, he says. Mattamy division president Kevin O’Shea says the deal “gives the community the certainty they are looking for.”

As useful as this deal could be for Stonebridge residents, it doesn’t provide a template to resolve a somewhat similar dispute in Kanata North, where the owner of the Kanata Lakes golf course wants to work with a group of local developers to replace the course with housing. In Kanata, a longstanding legal agreement saying the community has to have 40 per cent open space strengthens residents’ situation. In Stonebridge, there was no legal impediment to developing the whole course.

Golf course communities have become an anachronism in a city intent on intensifying within the urban boundary. Redeveloping those lands for housing is in sync with the city’s planning goals, but it’s not politically saleable to homeowners who thought they had a deal. If it goes ahead, the Stonebridge plan shows there is a reasonable middle ground.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending