Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had plenty of time to formulate and deliver a powerful denunciation of China’s egregious spying charges against Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
It’s likely Canadians across this nation would have been more than pleased to assist and provide Trudeau with suggestions for the appropriate response to Beijing’s bullying.
READ MORE: Trudeau says he’s ‘disappointed’ by China’s charges against Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor
Yet the most forceful message Canada’s prime minister could muster and deliver to China’s Xi Jinping on Friday was Trudeau is “disappointed.”
Digging into his lexicon of clumsy terminology, Trudeau added Canada is making use of “appropriate tactics and actions” to secure the return of the Canadians we now know as the Two Michaels.
Considering that Kovrig and Spavor have been held in Chinese custody since December 2018 and for several months without access to Canadian consular officials, whatever those “appropriate tactics and actions” are, it may also be time to revisit the playbook.
Are Spavor and Kovrig being held hostage over the Meng Wanzhou extradition to the U.S. case?
Just weeks ago, literally the day before the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled not to set aside the United States’ request for the extradition of Meng, China’s foreign ministry spokesman warned Ottawa to release her and avoid “continuous harm” to Canada-China relations.
China’s willingness to operate outside the rules of acceptable international behaviour was detailed directly in stories in recent months by Global News investigative reporter Sam Cooper, such as one on how China used “United Front” groups in Canada to stockpile medical equipment ahead of the global pandemic.
On Friday, Trudeau prattled on with this: “In the case of the Two Michaels, I can say that we are using a wide range of public and private measures to ensure that everything is being done to get these Michaels home.”
It was left to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to deliver a stern Canadian rebuke to the Xi regime.