Scheer says he would fire McCallum for Huawei comments
Rachel Gilmore, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 4:03PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:20PM EST
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says if he was prime minister he would fire Canada's Ambassador to China John McCallum over his most recent comments on Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
"I would fire him," Scheer told Don Martin in an interview for CTV Power Play, airing Wednesday evening
"The situation with China right now is at a very strained point. That goes without saying. We have to be very, very careful as a country and our government needs to be taking this very, very seriously."
McCallum has been criticized for telling Chinese language media in Markham, Ont. Tuesday that Meng has "good arguments" to avoid extradition to the United States. As evidence of this, McCallum pointed specifically to U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial suggestion that he might intervene in the extradition case as leverage for trade negotiations with China.
Trump came under fire for the comments, which prompted Canadian officials to stress that politics had nothing to do with Wanzhou's arrest.
Scheer said that McCallum's latest comments were "unacceptable" and may also contribute to concerns about the politicization of this case.
"Here we have the spokesperson of the Government of Canada weighing in on an independent judicial case. Our judicial systems, our proceedings, need to have integrity around it," Scheer said.
"To have this type of comment is completely unacceptable and he needs to be held responsible for his actions."
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland assured that Canada is maintaining the integrity of the extradition process.
"Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding," Freeland's spokesperson, Adam Austen, said in a statement provided to CTV News.
"There has been no political involvement in this process. Canada respects its international legal commitments, including by honouring its extradition treaty with the United States."
Trudeau echoed the assurance when he spoke to reporters in Saskatchewan on Wednesday.
"We have always highlighted that Canada is a country of the rule of law, and we will make sure that the rule of law is properly and fully followed. That of course includes the opportunity for her to mount a strong defence," Trudeau said.
"The strength of our justice system is people get to mount their own defence. I know she will do that."
Meng has been released on bail and is due in court in Vancouver Feb. 6.
With files from CTV's Michel Boyer and The Canadian Press.
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