Push carefully but do no harm to Canadians imprisoned in China: senator


OTTAWA — The Liberal senator leading the Canadian parliamentary delegation travelling to China says his group will tread carefully in calling for the release of the two detained Canadians in that country.

Sen. Joseph Day tells The Canadian Press that engaging directly with Chinese lawmakers is crucial but his group doesn’t want to do anything to harm the welfare of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Day says the two countries may have fundamentally different views about what constitutes the rule of law, but both need to find common ground on some fundamentals.

He says that includes having a right to a lawyer, knowing what you’re charged with and being able to make a full answer in defence.

So far, none of that has been afforded to Kovrig and Spavor, each of whom has had only one visit by the Canadian ambassador in China since being arrested last month in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.

Day says his delegation has been well briefed by Global Affairs Canada, and he’s not worried about its members’ personal security, and adds that an elevated travel ban for Canadians would be counterproductive.

The Canadian Press