Friday, January 20, 2006

Who's scary again?

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has resorted to frightening as many voters as possible about a Conservative victory in Monday's election. Whether by coincidence or as a result of Martin's rhetoric, his governing Liberals have taken a slice out of the Conservatives' lead in the polls. Regardless of the state of the race, with the election just on the other side of the weekend, it seemed a good time to remind the Canadians among our readership why we endorsed the Conservatives in this vote.

The following is an updated version of an earlier post detailing Prime Minister Martin's record on Communist China, and "scary" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Espionage: Just this past summer, Hao Fengjun, the former official in the anti-Falun Gong 610 office who defected to Australia, revealed a Communist spy network in the Great White North that "he estimated as numbering 1000 agents" (Epoch Times). A former Canadian intelligence official estimated the economic damage to Canada at nearly $1 billion a month (CTV). However, another critical part of the espionage operation is to conduct chilling surveillance on Falun Gong practitioners in Canada. One woman who left Communist China for Ontario had her entire life revealed when Hao released her file to the media to prove his point (Epoch Times). The "scary" Conservatives demanded Prime Minister Martin take action (Hansard: One and Two). To date, Martin and his government have yet to even publicly raise the issue outside of answers forced out of them by said Conservatives (for those who worry about these things, the questioners ran right across the spectrum of Conservative MPs: from Peter MacKay to Stockwell Day). The intimidation, meanwhile, goes on to this day (Between Heaven and Earth).

Infiltration into Canadian resources: Communist China has become a large-scale investor in Canada's major resources, including Albertan oil (fourth item, Edmonton Sun), Saskatchewan oil and uranium (Globe and Mail), and Canadian held resources abroad (BBC). Prime Minister Martin and his government have said nothing, despite the obvious political gain of scoring points, as it were, against the gatekeeper of Alberta's oil, Premier and federal Liberal whipping boy Ralph Klein. Meanwhile, Martin's willingness to allow then-Canadian-owned PetroKazakhstan to be purchased by a Communist-owned firm forced the Kazakhs to ask Communist China to allow them to buy a piece of the company operating on their own soil (United Press International via Washington Times).

Forced repatriation of at least one Falun Gong practitioner to Communist China: You read that right. Practitioner Xiaoping Hu "was deported to China on August 5, despite protests from thousands of Canadians, NGOs and Members of Parliament" (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, Han Guangsheng - who, like Hao, was a former 610 officer who defected - may also be sent back by the Canadian government (Epoch Times). Prime Minster Martin, when pressed on the repatriation, denied it had ever happened (Epoch Times).

The elevation of business interests over human rights: Again, as an American, I must acknowledge that my own leaders have largely dropped the ball on this issue, but Mr. Martin is in a class by himself. During a trade mission to Communist China that just happened to coincide with the death of Zhao Ziyang, Jason Kenney - another "scary" Conservative MP - took the time to pay his respects at Zhao's family home. Prime Minister Martin "castigated Kenney for his visit, claiming that he himself had chosen not to pay tribute to Zhao because the family had requested privacy - which was later proven to be false" (Western Standard).

Taiwan: During the last Parliament, Jim Abbott - a Conservative MP - presented a bill designed to improve Canada's relationship with the island democracy of Taiwan. Dan McTeague, Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew, responded by slinging ad hominem attacks on a sympathetic committee witness that were so incoherent as to earn the wrath of Paul Wells.

Foreign aid to Communist China: At present, Canada sends over $50 million in foreign aid to Communist China (Terry O'Neill, Western Standard, details where that money goes), despite the Communist espionage network and resource grab. When International Trade critic Helena Guergis (Conservative from Ontario) demanded the "aid" stop (CBC), the governing Liberals dismissed her out of hand (Hansard). Of course, they have also refused to take up any of the suggestions offered by our readership for alternative uses of that money.

Head tax money goes to Communist-sympathizing group: Even the Liberals' attempt to atone for Canada's Chinese head tax could not escape Communist influence. The money paid for compensation for the tax - $2.5 million - will be sent in one lump sum payment to the National Chinese Canadian Congress, a group best known "for their cozy relationship with the CCP" (Epoch Times). Despite being criticized by both the Conservatives and the New Democrats for this, Prime Minister Martin himself ruled out paying any compensation to the actual victims of the head tax, or their descendants (Vancouver Sun).

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have largely called on the governing Liberals to give human rights more respect, end aid to the Communist regime, take action its espionage and economic infiltration, and establish friendlier ties with Taiwan. One additional point: those who would worry about the role of Stockwell Day (current Conservative Foreign Affairs critic) as Foreign Minister would do well to review the speech he gave at the University of Toronto last year (Between Heaven and Earth). It was arguably the most knowledgeable address on Communist China given by any Canadian politician in this young century.

As said before, the Canadian voters must decide for themselves how "scary" Stephen Harper's Conservatives are, but Prime Minister Martin's Liberals are still as terrifying today as they were when this campaign began.

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