D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

An Open Letter


                                     



                                                        An Open Letter

Several days have lapsed since Ambassador McCallum's lapse of judgement. He doesn't call it that, but rather a misspeak. A misspeak is a word or two or, at most, of a sentence or two. His "misspeak" lasted 40 minutes. This means that he is minimizing his lapse or lack of judgement which has interfered in the judicial process of Canada which follows rule of law. The author has given McCallum some degree of latitude by allowing him to honorably resign even though he made inappropriate remarks which may imply political interference in the judicial process. There is still a chance for him to resign. However, the author now asks that he be recalled.

Ambassador McCallum says that "these comments do not accurately represent my position on this issue". What on earth does that mean? By "position" do you mean where you were sitting before a Chinese audience in one of your old constituencies? Does it mean your comments on legal matters is inconsistent with your education and experience in the financial field? Might it mean that you were an ex-politician and that you shouldn't dabble in what might be perceived to be the political process? Could it possibly be interpreted to mean then that your position should be in China speaking to the Chinese and representing Canada rather than in Canada speaking to the Chinese media who might influence Chinese-Canadians to vote one way or another? Can it possibly be interpreted that you took orders directly from Trudeau? Finally, might it mean that you forgot that you were a Canadian ambassador "to" China, but rather thought that you were a Chinese ambassador acting on behalf "of" China?

The basic problem remains about how McCallum takes back or make amends for the comments that he so injudiciously made to the Chinese media in Markham and by extension to Chinese-Canadians and Chinese on the mainland by saying he misspoke? Everyone has heard the comments. That means members of the British Columbia Supreme Court. It includes Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. The Minister of Public Safety who reasonably exercises his decision based on established legal principles is aware of the comments. Mdme Meng has heard them. The Americans who said they were going ahead with the extradition process have heard them. The Chinese who are holding two recently detained Canadian citizens have heard them. The whole world has heard them as they have heard from Trudeau that Canada is absolutely following the rule of law.

Let me give you a hypothetical example. Imagine that Mdme Meng is being questioned by her defence lawyer about American political inference in the extradition request. Mdme Meng might answer that that was the opinion of the Canadian ambassador to China. He said "I think she has quite good arguments on her side. One, political involvement by comments from Donald Trump in her case". The political involvement that McCallum is referring to is most likely that Trump might abandon the Meng case through a trade deal with China.

It may be true that Trump was politically motivated concerning the extradition process. However, it is inappropriate for a Canadian ambassador to state an opinion on this matter two weeks before the hearing. Furthermore, it opens up the possibility that McCallum himself might be politically motivated for supporting the position of Mdme Meng on the extradition issue. What on earth makes McCallum think that Trump has any altruism in that he might cancel the extradition request in order for China to release two Canadian detainees--besides the naivety of our government which is beyond bounds?

Trudeau's response to McCallum's comments were belated and tepid. He even defended McCallum by declining to disavow what his envoy said. It makes one think that while Trudeau was extolling "rule of law" to the world that his envoy was privately--if you call privately a conversation with Chinese media--supporting expediency in the Meng case. This does not exonerate or exculpate McCallum for what he said because he was the one who said it. He must be held responsible for what he said.

One is confused though about the government's meaning of "rule of law". Only a few days ago both the United States and Canada recognized a man who declared himself president of Venezuela. In addition, both countries also apply the concept of rule of law to a bilateral extradition treaty as it concerns the apparent breach of American sanctions which Canada was not a party to and which no Canadian broached to the apparent breach by a Chinese citizen (rather than a company) who was in transit to Mexico. How expansive and extensive is the definition of rule of law?

The offer made by the author still stands. He will talk privately and quietly if invited to by his government with the Chinese ambassador in Ottawa. He will speak as a private citizen who has absolutely no connection with either government. He will propose that Kovrig, Spavor, Chang, Sun, Celil, Wang, Xiao and Schellenberg be released. In return, Mdme Meng will be released from custody. There is no confusion about what is asked and what is given. There is no attempt to vacillate in order to negotiate or facilitate. It is admitted that this is an expedient solution, but it is one based on virtue which is just.

While the author has been a long time supporter of rule of law, he understands the present situation with respect to morality. To be poignant, it concerns morality rather than legality. The family is paramount. This is a Confucian principle which has been in practice for over 2300 years. It is imperative under this philosophy, as the author interprets it, that families be united at the time of the Spring Festival which is days away. The Canadian family also forms the backbone of our society. Let's not think of these people as individuals regulated by laws, but rather as members of families. When there is harmony in the family there is harmony in the State.

Trudeau tells China that it should not mix political concerns with commercial ones. Isn't he mixing political concerns with judicial ones by not firing McCallum for his interference in the Meng case and saying that if McCallum were recalled it would not further the release of the hostages? Since the beginning of the new year all Trudeau seems to have thought about is his election campaign. Now, he doesn't want to lose the vote of Chinese-Canadians. He panders to the Panda. However, because he lacks a coherent policy on China his actions are inconsistent and incomprehensible. Trudeau will be held accountable for his actions in the next election. For the first time, one hears trepidation in his voice and sees fear in his eyes in a handful of dust.


D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

2019年1月25日