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CanadaFreeland says McCallum ‘does not speak’ for feds after explosive China interview

18:21  11 july  2019
18:21  11 july  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Freeland calls ex-envoy's advice to China about election 'highly inappropriate'

Freeland calls ex-envoy's advice to China about election 'highly inappropriate' OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is seeking to distance the Trudeau government from its former ambassador to China, a day after he said he has warned Chinese officials that further punishments against Canada could help the opposition Conservatives win the fall election. Asked by reporters Thursday about John McCallum's remarks, Freeland said it's "highly inappropriate" for any Canadian to advise a foreign government on how it can influence an election result in Canada. Nor should any Canadian advise a foreign government on which electoral outcomes would be best for that government, she added.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada’s fired former ambassador to China “ does not speak ” for the government after he described offering advice to Chinese In an interview with Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post published Wednesday, veteran Liberal John McCallum said he

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s fired former ambassador to China was not speaking on behalf of the government in controversial remarks that critics say invited Chinese interference in the federal election.

Freeland says McCallum ‘does not speak’ for feds after explosive China interview© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland speaks during a panel at the Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto, on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada's fired former ambassador to China "does not speak" for the government after he described offering advice to Chinese officials on how their attacks on Canada could influence the fall election to a newspaper.

In an interview with Hong Kong's South China Morning Post published Wednesday, veteran Liberal John McCallum said he told China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs that continuing to restrict Canadian exports to China would be politically beneficial to the Conservatives, who would take a much harder line on China than the governing Liberals.

McCallum reportedly warned China that hurting Canada ‘will help the Conservatives’

McCallum reportedly warned China that hurting Canada ‘will help the Conservatives’ “Anything that is more negative against Canada will help the Conservatives," the former ambassador to China was quoted as saying in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s fired former ambassador to China was not speaking on behalf of the government in controversial remarks that critics say invited Chinese interference in the federal election.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s fired former ambassador to China was not speaking on behalf of the government in controversial remarks that critics say invited Chinese interference in the federal election.

READ MORE: McCallum reportedly warned China that hurting Canada ‘will help the Conservatives’

“Anything that is more negative against Canada will help the Conservatives, [who] are much less friendly to China than the Liberals,” McCallum was quoted as saying in the interview with the English-language newspaper.

“I hope and I don’t see any reason why things will get worse; it would be nice if things will get better between now and [Canada’s federal] election [in October].”

His explosive remarks quickly prompted accusations by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer that McCallum was offering an “invitation of foreign interference in the Canadian election.”

Freeland was asked from a conference on media freedom in London, U.K., about the remarks by McCallum, who was fired as ambassador to China in January 2019 after weighing in on the merits of the extradition case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Andrew Coyne: McCallum is enlisting China’s aid in re-electing the Liberals — and coaching them how to do it

Andrew Coyne: McCallum is enlisting China’s aid in re-electing the Liberals — and coaching them how to do it Is it possible to reappoint John McCallum as ambassador to China just so he can be fired again? The politician turned diplomat turned neither, whose unfiltered musings on Sino-Canadian relations were his undoing earlier this year, has done it again. In a jaw-dropping interview with the South China Morning Post, McCallum volunteers that he has been warning his contacts in the Chinese foreign ministry to avoid further “punishments” to Canadian exports, in the escalating conflict over Canada’s arrest and possible extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s fired former ambassador to China was not speaking on behalf of the government in controversial remarks that critics say invited Chinese interference in the federal election.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s fired former ambassador to China was not speaking on behalf of the government in controversial remarks that critics say invited Chinese interference in the federal election.

"Let me be extremely clear that Mr. McCallum does not speak in the name of the government of Canada," she responded, before addressing accusations that the remarks were an invitation for political interference.

"It is a very important issue and it is something that we, as a country, have to be prepared to defend ourselves against," she continued.

"In that context, I think that it is inappropriate for any Canadian to be advising any foreign government on ways it ought or ought not to behave to secure any particular election outcome in Canada."

More to come.

Read more

Climbers find unexploded weapon in Jasper National Park.
A group of climbers are being praised by RCMP after they found ⁠— and didn't meddle with ⁠— an unexploded ordnance Thursday in Jasper National Park. An unexploded ordnance, or UXO, is an unexploded weapon, like a bomb or grenade. Climbers from the Association of Communities of Mountain Guides found the UXO on the north side of Mount Athabasca, about 105 kilometres southeast from the Jasper town site. The discovery was reported to Jasper RCMP around 2 p.m., and a public notice to avoid the area was disseminated, RCMP said in a news release Saturday.

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