Playing with the Dragon II – The architects behind Canada’s China policy.

In 1989, I sat alone in front of the TV, watching the fight for democracy and freedom come to a head in China. Who could forget this iconic image of a single man standing before the tanks, facing likely death? What strength lives in a soul to find yourself taking such action ? For a young woman like myself, raised in the sheltering woods and relative isolation of the world beyond my hometown in northern British Columbia, pre-internet, and the CBC my only source of global information and news,  the days and weeks of protests in and around Tiananmen Square were instrumental to my appreciation of true freedom and democracy.

Today, shocking news -or not, depending on how you look at it – comes to us from China. Li Wangyang, a Chinese dissident who had been jailed for more than 22 years for both his role in the 1989 protests, and later, for ‘inciting subversion’, was found dead. Released from prison a year ago, he was in hospital for treatment of heart disease and diabetes when he was found with a strip of cloth around his neck, tied to a window bar above. Since he was known for his strong spirit and mind,and was seen in fine form the evening before,it was clearly a surprise to his family and friends, who do not believe he could have killed himself.

From the BBC:

“The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in China said Mr Li died “unusually”.

“We cannot rule out that security guards monitoring him tortured him to death and faked a suicide,” the centre said in a statement “

Li WangYang, 你終於可以去和平


The country whose government deems it necessary to imprison a poet for “subversion of state power” after he writes a poem that the court deemed was a serious crime that deserved severe punishment – from the National Post :


By Zhu Yufu, translated by A. E. Clark and reprinted with permission

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
The Square belongs to everyone.
With your own two feet
It’s time to head to the Square and make your choice.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
A song belongs to everyone.
From your own throat
It’s time to voice the song in your heart.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
China belongs to everyone.
Of your own will
It’s time to choose what China shall be.”

Indeed, as Zhu Yufu urges his fellow Chinese sisters and brothers to find their song and sing it, I urge my fellow Canadians to find their songs and sing them too…for there is a growing concern among many in this country about the increasing foothold on Canada’s resources and corporations, leaving Canadians security and interests at risk.

While many urged Harper to condemn this harsh assault on human rights and free speech, he instead railed on environmentalists in his visit to China earlier this year, and ” his strongest words ever on human rights” really seemed to be nothing more than platitudes.

Certainly, the Chinese government would not consider having to address its horrific human rights record as a condition of doing business in, and with, Canada – and Stephen Harper seems just fine with that. He, who was once stand-offish when it came to cultivating Chinese business interest in Canada is now going as far as stating he will over-rule environmental  and regulatory process to ensure the Northern Gateway project gets built. Chinese state connected corporations have been busy in Canada’s north and Harper has gone to extreme lengths to facilitate this surge.

Which leads me to ask, why is that? Why is the Canadian government seemingly so eager to get into a financial bed with the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, when so many have rung alarm bells at the risk of doing so, without adequate safeguards to Canadian interests?

To understand why, one has to look beyond the Prime Minister, and into corporate Canada, to two organizations that have been deemed the architects of Canada’s China policy for far longer than Harper has been Prime Minister : the aptly named Power Corporation and the Canada Chinese Business Council.

The Power Corporation of Canada, under the direction of Andre and Paul Desmarais, has long been referred to ( and written about) as being ‘the’ power behind the upper echelon of Canadian politics, in particular the Privy Council and the Prime Ministers office.

In fact, the company has shared a long and lively history with several prime ministers of different political leanings, who have worked on staff, including Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney. Over many years, political and professional connections continued in addition to personal ones, with the marriage of Andre Desmarais to Jean Cretiens daughter, so entrenched are the families and business/politics.

( In an aside, last night I was reading a book by publisher Douglas Gibson, ‘Stories About Storytellers’ in which he remarks on the memoirs of both Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney, both of whom talk about their time with Power Corporation and the Desmarais family – a fascinating read)

But I digress. Time to take a look at the Canada China Business Council in more depth. Deemed a private, not for profit association, it’s sole purpose appears to be facilitating founding and member businesses in making as much money from trade and business with China as they possibly can, in the easiest and most unfettered manner. Read that as, free of trade and regulatory interference, if you wish.

Of note, is that in addition to Power Corporation, Export Development Canada and the Bank of Montreal, one of the founding members is CITIC, a state owned investment company of the Peoples Republic of China.

The board of directors of the China Canada Business Council is a veritable who’s who in Canadian politics and business, and boasts that “Their cumulative corporate experience in China and their personal and business networks among China and Canada’s most senior government and business leaders is unparalleled. They speak with insight and authority on Canada-China trade and investment issues and their voices are heard.”

Indeed, the 2010/2011 board included the Desmarais, Stockwell Day and a former ambassador to China.

And Stephen Harper, it seems, has heard their voices loud and clear.

Although Desmarais had long connections with three prior Prime Ministers, through Power Corp, and other political/personal ties, there was no such long history between the Desmarais family and Harper before he came into power. In fact, some wondered how much influence, if any, could come to bear on the new PM because of that lack of history.

As I touched on in the first installment of Playing With the Dragon – courtesy of Terry Glavins excellent article – Harper has visibly taken an about-face with respect to trade with China, and Canada-China relations, seemingly at great odds with Canada’s national interests.

The question remained for many why this was, and what prompted that about-face with China, but perhaps to understand we need to look back to 2010… and the photo Harper didn’t want you to see.

In fact, the photos Norman Spector was referring to in that article, are no longer included with the Globe and Mail article. Instead, you will have to head over to the Canada Free Press to see what photo Mr. Spector was talking about… and why many think it explains so much about Harpers big flip-flop in attitude towards trade and business with China. From that article:

“Leave it to the Globe and Mail, “Canada’s national newspaper” to flag The Photo Harper doesn’t want you to seewithout giving details about the person that Harper purportedly doesn’t want you to see.

“At last night’s dinner in Ottawa in honour of President Hu, from left to right, Andre Desmarais, president and co-Chair of the Power Corporation Board of Directors…who has contributed greatly to the strengthening of China-Canada relations, Hu Jintao and the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.”  (The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2010).

The first colour photo released from last night’s dinner by the Prime Minister’s Office blocks out the person sitting to the right of Hu Jintao because of the angle the picture was taken from and the small Chinese flag on the table.

All it took to solve the mystery was a black and white photo from La Presse newspaper, revealing the person hidden by the flag to be none other than Andre Desmarais, Power Corp CEO and son-in-law of former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. 

Will heads be rolling today at La Presse?  After all, it is owned by Power Corp.

You can’t hide Andre Desmarais even when you’re the prime minister.

Power Corp. is the power behind the Canadian government, through both Liberal and Conservative governments.”

Well, well. Andre Desmarais with Stephen Harper and Chinese government officials? It might appear that not having a long history of business and personal ties to the Desmarais family is not an inpediment to progress in the Prime Ministers office.

None of what I write here, is news. It is known to most political junkies, most newspaper men and women and reported on infrequently in bits and pieces. However, when you connect the dots and put it all together to show the bigger picture.. all at once…

An ” Aha…” moment, if you will.

When large corporations straddle the line between policy influence and creation, between business and government, at this level, we have a problem.

When a Chinese state owned investment company is involved in policy creation and influence,in any way, shape or form and a member of a Canadian business association, we have a problem.

When we have highly influential former government officials working in the middle of this, again straddling the line between business and policy making, how can Canadians even begin to have faith our government is putting our interests first ?

In my opinion, the answer is, we cannot. We cannot have faith our government is putting the interests of Canadians, our security and our defence, above foreign interest, or foreign influence.

And when some of the most powerful rainmakers have managed to hold court over at least two major federal political parties, as it would seem, the only option left had better work three times as hard to show Canadians how they intend to change the course of history in this country, before we lose it all.

You can read the first installment of the Playing with the Dragon series, here:

51 thoughts on “Playing with the Dragon II – The architects behind Canada’s China policy.

  1. Well, well, well, all those reports of Chinese spy’s having infiltrated sensitive government positions in our federal government may be all true. Considering the ‘Relationship’ Harper has with the Chinese premier, and friends, I’m willing to bet our authorities have turned a blind eye, with the blessings of one Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


    1. May be true? May? As much as can be said about CSIS,and the lack of oversight of them, I still defend Fadden’s comments – they openly support statements made publically by other CSIS officials here in Canada and abroad.It is my opinion,based on extensive research,that Fadden was found in a position where no other alternative existed other than to publically sound the alarm bell, perhaps to let those under examination know they were aware of what was going on. There are a great number of nationalists in this country. who believe Canada must remain sovereign and without foreign influence,in particular when it comes to matter of government policy.


  2. You have hit the nail right squarely on the head, imo…..RIP Li WangYang. I have great admiration and respect for you and believe you were murdered. If I could be half as brave as you were…..


  3. Last night I watch a video on YouTube of a talk Chris Hedges gave at the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University. It is relevant to everything I’m reading today. Seriously! It’s called “Death of the Liberal Class”, is posted in one clip, is 1h 12min long and here’s a link to an article and the video – watch it!

    “…in the end, corporate lobbyists write all the legislation…”
    “…when you’re home typing on your computer alone, you are just where the corporate state wants you: there is no substitute for pulling large numbers of people into the street to discredit those in power…”
    “A realistic understanding of power would have to say that there is no way to stop the fossil fuel industry from killing us given the current political configuration.”
    “…it’s not beyond the imagination, that as things deteriorate the security and surveillance state would react on that level…”
    “…it is deeply disturbing how complicit [academia] is in the solidification of the corporate state. It’s careerism…”
    “…careerism, like nationalism, is a disease…”

    By the way – did you hear the news today? The Harper Government is creating an anti-terrorism unit to protect the tar sands and pipelines in Alberta. Environmentalists are the new terrorists in Harper’s Canada.

    Thanks for taking my looong comment!


    1. Yes I saw this on CTV

      “EDMONTON — The federal government has set up a counter-terrorism unit in Alberta and one of its main jobs will be to help protect the energy industry from attacks by extremists.

      The integrated national security enforcement team will be led by the RCMP and include officers from CSIS, the Edmonton and Calgary police forces and federal border patrol.

      Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the key to effectively guarding the labyrinth of oil and natural gas wells, pipelines and refineries in Alberta will be to gather intelligence to prevent attacks before they happen.

      “When we look at the booming economy of the province of Alberta over the years, one would be led to believe that there is an increased threat to the infrastructure,” Michaud said Wednesday.

      “We are basically looking at any individuals or groups that pose a threat to critical infrastructure, to our economy, to our safety that is based on either religious, political or ideological goals.”

      Yes indeed, watch out for those terrorists against the Northern Gateway pipeline…


      1. From Power Corporations website:

        On the other side of the world, Power Corporation worked at solidifying the special, ongoing relationship with the government of China that had begun in the late 1970s. Power Corporation’s joint venture to buy a pulp mill in British Columbia in 1986 with the Canadian subsidiary of China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC), the international investment arm of the People’s Republic of China, marked CITIC’s largest investment outside China at the time. Though Power Corporation sold its interest in the mill in 1992, it continued to develop investment opportunities with CITIC and other entities in Asia.

        Power Pacific Corporation, created for that purpose, opened offices in Hong Kong in 1994 and Beijing in 1998. It soon joined with CITIC in the development of industrial real estate in the special economic zone of Pudong, outside of Shanghai, and participated with Canadian and Chinese partners in the manufacture of passenger rail cars in China. More significantly, Power Corporation acquired an equity interest in CITIC’s publicly traded conglomerate CITIC Pacific Limited, a diversified holding company based in Hong Kong, with interests in power generation, transportation, communications, and real estate.

        from an excellent news article by Peter Hadeka,from a while back:
        `No company has ever done a better job of managing the political relationship than Power Corp.’

        Ottawa lobbyist


        Critics of the company’s close relationship with government point to two areas where Power’s interests are closely aligned with government policy: financial services and Canadian foreign policy on China.

        As a heavyweight in the insurance and investment businesses, Power has lobbied against allowing banks to buy insurance companies. Some bankers have seen its positions as self-serving and have attributed Martin’s decision to reject the banks to pressure from Power.

        A consultant’s report commissioned by Power two years ago slammed bank concentration in Canada and claimed that mergers would lead to higher prices and reduced services. (It’s not alone in that view.) Another report Power submitted to the government concluded that mergers between banks and insurance companies have been a failure in places such as Australia, the United States and Europe.

        There is speculation a Harper government might allow mergers to go ahead. Power spokesman Ted Johnson says the company has “no plans” to make a submission to the new government. “Our views are very well known.”

        On the China issue, Power is Canada’s best-known investor in that country. And Ottawa has conveniently taken a business-as-usual approach to concerns about Beijing’s human-rights abuses and repression of the pro-democracy movement.

        While Ottawa has raised the human-rights issue with Chinese authorities, it has done nothing that might impede the bilateral flow of trade and investment.

        That’s just the line preached by the Power-backed Canada China Business Council. In fact, the council’s president is Howard Balloch, a former Canadian ambassador to China who articulated Ottawa’s business-friendly policy during his term.

        “We know that (the council) are very influential and that they have access to both heads of state,” says Tibetan activist Tenzin Dargyal, a defeated Tory candidate in the January election who heads a Canadian group that opposes China’s occupation of Tibet.

        Power’s calling card in China is the connections it brings, he says, what the Chinese call Guan Xi. “They leverage those relationships to open doors in China.”

        Chrétien devoted extraordinary attention to China and led three Team Canada trade missions there that included Power Corp. But while business boomed, progress on the human-rights issue proved impossible, Dargyal says.

        “Whenever we raised the human-rights issue, the prime minister would head off to China to promote business with his son in-law. There was always a perception that business came first.”


        How much influence Power has wielded can be debated, but the close relationships with past prime ministers clearly created at least an appearance of conflict.


  4. Without a doubt,the most relevant write-up to explain what is going on in Ottawa currently.It is remarkable to read both stories and how rock-solid this information is.China has been acknowledged as the biggest threat to security in the U.S and in Australia,yet Canada welcomes the Chinese government with little due course or regard to the intelligence threat they present. Our politicians take little care when travelling on trade missions to China,to counter-act cyber and electronic espionage, unlike Australia. See this recent news story, where Aussy defence minister left all electronic devices etc back home when travelling to China.

    Thank you for this excellent and important work.I will continue to refer my colleagues and fellow Canadians to you.


  5. Thanks Laila. We may elect governments, but it appears that our politicians are already corrupted before we choose which ones that we want to sell us out.


  6. There is only one struggle, one fight and one game. It really is as elemental and fundamental as Good versus Evil, and it has been going on as long as our species has been around, and probably much longer. War, disease, slavery, poverty, torture, corruption, exploitation and greed are arrayed against environmentalists, social activists, and the vast majority of the arts community, health care providers and for the most part, scientists. The Orcs are arrayed against the Elves and Hobbits. It comes down to parks versus open pit mines. Mother Nature pitted and rather un-gunned, against the so-called market economy and the military/industrial complex, as we used to call it. At the same time, mainstream culture creates a distortion effect where we end up not believing the evidence before our eyes because we still have faith in the institutions of a just and lawful society. Yet look around at the failings of the justice system, not just here in B.C. starting with B.C. Rail but all the way to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Look at the corruption and mean-spirited conniving at the political level. Look at the abject failure of all of the police departments involved in the Pickton Case. What else do we see? Environmental and regulatory functions curtailed. Research projects being terminated. Coast guard operations being shut down. Cuts to the funding for archives and libraries. If it isn’t broken yet, it’s falling apart. But we keep on believing that everything is still okay and that it’s all being looked after by the system, that all is right with our world. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that it is.

    Everyone plays a role, as either a passive or as an active participant. And every single moment we make choices that have implications for the forces of Good and for the forces of Evil. Of course, it isn’t always easy to keep the battle lines distinct, and most of us lead great chunks of lives totally oblivious to issues of social justice, community interest or public health, or any of the other theatres of battle swirling about. I can pretty much guarantee that if someone was to examine any of our lives up close, and pointedly our closets and cupboards, there would undoubtedly be some evidence found of complicity with the forces of the dark side. After all, who’s supporting those factories that produce all that cheap merchandise we pick up as consumers? Us. And what about those factories? Well in case you hadn’t heard, there are horror stories aplenty about the violent and terrifying lives led by those factory workers. People from working in factories in Latin America, South Asia, Asia, and last but not least Africa labour in abysmal conditions rivaling the dystopian novels of Huxley, Orwell, and recently departed Ray Bradbury. Of course a disproportionate number of the workers die young through neglect and abuse. If one could lead a forensic audit from the factory floor to the consumer, we’d probably learn some very interesting stories that I can only speculate about. These are the factories that churn out our TV’s and tee shirts, our toys, our clothes and even our food. In the Ivory Coast, the centre of world production for the cocoa bean, something like 200,000 children work at various stages of chocolate production. The International Labour Organization’s 2005 report estimates that of these, some 6% are victims of either child slavery or child trafficking. So unless you are buying an ethically produced, fair traded product, and have done so all your life and in all cases we can all unfortunately, assume at least some measure of guilt by association. I used to love chocolate bars, and hence my guilt is visible to the world in my over-large belly.

    I’ll always recall one of my profs who had been a minor functionary in Chile’s Allende government, who had to flee the country after the assassination of the elected socialist President and the installation, with the assistance of the CIA, of a military junta. He impressed upon us that in the “two thirds” world as he characterized it, artists and musicians did not have the choice to sit on the sidelines and avoid politics. It was a revelation to me that each image, each song, each inspired created object became, in a war zone, a political statement. Double, triple and hidden meanings abound in the art and culture produced in such crucibles. The very absence of a political statement in a piece of art labeled the creator as a reactionary or collaborator.

    Thus, the reaction of the Chinese government to Li Wangyang’s poem that added to the call for democracy more than 20 years ago in Tiananmen Square is perhaps not that surprising because the Chinese government is well aware of the über conflict and have a very clear idea about which side they are on. Accordingly, after crushing the nascent democracy movement with shocking violence they rounded up any surviving dissidents and locked them away, in most cases for years. The news that Li Wangyang has been found dead in rather mysterious circumstances is indeed sad, and for me as someone who finds great creative expression through poetry, it stands as a cautionary tale. Because don’t forget, there is only one war going on, albeit one with many battlefronts. It is obvious and oppressive in so much of the world, increasingly so here in Canada where state sponsored terror tactics, like kettling, are used to counter peaceful demonstrations.

    Which brings me to a dilemma most of us have come up against before, where do we marshal our forces, where do we pitch in on this fight? I say forces, but for most of us, when it comes right down to it, we are talking about an army of one. That one can only be the face staring back at you in the mirror every morning. And really what we have to do is make value judgments all the time about practically everything we do. If you have a strong ethical compass, follow it, and if you don’t have an ethical compass, develop one, please.

    Here is my gratuitous advice on how to be on the side of Good, offered for your consideration:

    It isn’t always necessary to continually join protest movements or to be involved in something that might smack of being a movement in order to fight the good fight. Simple everyday choices can provide an opportunity for being on the side of good. It might be as easy as avoiding fast food and franchise restaurants and seeking out the mom and pop joints that make a town unique. Support charities. Try to understand the sourcing practices of the brands and labels before you add something to your shopping cart. The inter-connectedness of the universe brings the fundamental conflict into plain sight when you understand where to look.

    How you join the fight depends on all sorts of factors like your age, your abilities and your interests. Understand that you don’t always have to be on the front lines, but when you are needed stand up and get involved. Go to the Parent Advisory Council meetings at your kid’s school, get involved with the strata council, or wherever else your interests and destiny takes you. Volunteer. Research issues to the best of your abilities before forming opinions. Strong evidence based on facts is better than a heated opinion. Think strategically and don’t spread yourself too thin. Your own health is just as precious as the giant issue you might be confronting so remember to keep your life in balance with exercise, meditation and social networks. Be happy, and practice smiling. Find delight and joy in the world as it unfolds around you. Try to understand any negative emotions you might be feeling and see if they are based on incorrect assumptions. Master unnecessary desires. Read for pleasure. Listen to music. Choose love.


  7. Beautiful David. Thank you for that! Yes, a battle between good and evil, I like to think truth is on the good side.
    On another note:

    The Financial Post has a great story out today:

    “Cyber attacks pose a greater risk to Canada’s economic prosperity than the government previously believed and the country lacks the tools to fight hackers, officials warn in internal documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

    “All new knowledge obtained indicates the problem is more widespread than previously thought,” said a “secret”-stamped memo to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews from his deputy minister, obtained under Canada’s freedom-of-information law.
    Poor security against cyber attacks “is increasingly recognized as impacting not just national security, but also public safety and economic prosperity through growing cyber crime and loss of intellectual property,” states the Aug. 2011 memo to Toews from deputy William Baker, who retired in April.

    The government’s ability to respond is hindered by the lack of a national emergency policy for cyber attacks, aging lab facilities and difficulty recruiting specialists eligible for “top secret” security status, according to another document written in January by Canada’s Public Safety department”

    Which brings me to this story from May:

    The former head of U.S. counter-espionage says the Harper government is putting North American security at risk by allowing a giant Chinese technology company to participate in major Canadian telecommunications projects.

    In an exclusive interview in Washington, Michelle K. Van Cleave told CBC News the involvement of Huawei Technologies in Canadian telecom networks risks turning the information highway into a freeway for Chinese espionage against both the U.S. and Canada –
    the U.S. and Australia have already blocked Huawei from major telecom projects in those countries, and otherwise made it clear they regard China’s largest telecommunications company as a potential security threat.
    Even Canada’s own intelligence agencies have warned the Harper government of the risks of throwing open the door to Chinese telecom companies.

    Despite all the warnings, the federal and Ontario governments have rolled out the red carpet to Huawei, officially praising the Chinese company’s partnerships in Canadian telecom projects with Telus, Bell, SaskTel and WIND Mobile.

    During a recent visit to China, for instance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “honoured” to have witnessed the signing of large contracts for Huawei to provide Telus and Bell with the latest LTE high-speed wireless networks across Canada.

    Among its many large customers, Telus has just signed a $250-million contract to provide the Canadian military with secure voice and data services worldwide”

    So, let me get this straight. Other countries have banned this Chinese telecom giant for fear of espionage and threat to national security, intelligence and industrial/tech secrets.

    Harper however, rolls out the red carpet and they end up partnering with Telus who provides our military and defence with communications worldwide…..How screwed up is that ? What is going on in this country?


    1. There is certainly enough material out there to indicate political influence and or interference of foreign interests in Canadian policy making and decisions. I strongly feel Canadian interests are not being protected adequately considering the lobbying influence of the Canada China Business council and Power corporation among others. Considering fake components were recently found to have come from China that were installed into US military planes, some coming from Canadian companies that had sourced them from China, one must ask the questions I am asking. Why indeed would Telus source equipment from them, and are they testing it before use to verify that instances such as what happened in the US military, does not happen to our military via inadequate communications equipement ?


  8. So much for Harper’s criticism of, China’s lack of human rights and democracy. Our Canadian Democracy and Freedom, our Civil Rights and Liberties, Harper is trashing. Another Common Wealth country’s media, even wrote about it….how badly Harper is destroying democracy in Canada.

    Harper has given China our resources, we own none of them. Harper has also given them our Canadian jobs. China pretty much owns, everything of value in BC. Boessenkool and Christy are selling off what Real Estate is left, owned by the province. Three Mayor’s are pleading for help, to save the catalyst paper mill. I doubt Christy will help them out. I won’t be surprised if China gets that mill too.

    We live in very terrible, black times. Harper hates everything Canadian, including the people. It is more than obvious, Harper especially hates the BC people. We forced his good buddy Campbell to resign, even though his good buddy twice lied to win elections. We also oppose the Enbridge pipeline.

    BC has been thieved to the bare bones. Our BCR, rivers, mill industry, mines, all thieved and gone. Harper took the oil clean-up crew, out of BC. He shut down a BC Coast Guard center. They don’t call Harper, spiteful Stevie for nothing.


  9. We were warned, if Harper ever wins a majority, we could kiss Canada good-bye. I firmly believe, Harper is behind the robo-call election fraud. He’s even trying to quash the investigation.

    China has hacked into, more than one country’s secret files. Harper said, we wouldn’t recognize Canada, when he was done. That’s the only true statement Harper has ever made. Harper has given Canada to Communist China. That’s a huge, horrendous, hideous, and awful change for Canada.


  10. And we have Harper telling the Europeans how to do their business – as if he was the best in the world.
    Seems to me that Harper has had some sort of crisis and is not no longer dealing with a “full deck of cards”. In short, I would question Harpers mental condition and would suggest that if he continues to act in this present fashion, will be a liability to not only Canada, but the western nations alliance as well.

    Whatever the reason, Harper is not working for Canada and Canadians – but rather “petro dollar” and they take money from anywhere, anyone, anytime and no questions asked.

    A very scary future for Canada with Harper at the helm.



    1. Thank you workforfun!! Harper is working with a very full deck, I can assure you, which is what makes this all the more dangerous.In my opinion, he is without a doubt, a liability to Canada. I would add the federal Liberals are a liability in current form as well, based on connections and affiliations.

      That leaves the NDP and the bear Mulcair.


    2. I also am dumbstruck at the arrogance of this man telling the world that everyone should practice economics like Canada, with fiscal policy and discipline. Does he now think he is the leader of the free world? Selling out our resources as fast as possible and running roughshod over the 99% and Mother Earth is not an economic policy.


  11. Good post Laila,

    Notice this recent screed about how Canada must act fast to establish an energy corridor to please our Asian masters.

    Note the language of “energy security” not for US but EXPORT markets! lol

    Meanwhile Harper Inc is detailing yet another free trade agreement with China. Let me get this straight, we need an new agreement? What is their store somewhere in skookumchuck that does not sell chinese imports? Or a tree they dont own? Or some energy resources they dont control? Are there some vegetables we eat that are not chinese or seafood?

    Its getting ridiculous, we are all gonna have to brush up on our Mandarin!


    1. Yes, I heard in passing this weekend, a reference to Harper mandating all MP’s must know Mandarin in addition to… jokingly of course, but from someone who knows well the strong influence the China business lobby groups have on the PM and privy council.


  12. These parts don’t just come directly from China but also from suppliers in Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products to U.S. defense contractors.

    Interesting from the quote above. Who do we know??


    1. Hi Curt, I have been on the island over the weekend and have some interesting China links to other projects flying under the radar as well. This is very concerning that our government would laugh in the face of several countries defence experts and show such complacency.


  13. Yes, it is very disturbing when one learns of the Conservative governments penchant for bending the truth (lying) and their need to have absolute control over everything !

    Harpers latest faux pas – lecturing the Europeans on their handling of the banking crisis – if it wasn’t for previous governments in Canada, especially Liberal, Canada would not be in the present situation. Canada would most likely have fallen for the US line of self regulation and be saddled with exactly what other countries are now dealing with.

    Harper needs to keep his big mouth shut – as should Vic Toews as well.

    Thank you


    1. Well the RCMP were spending time on this post last week, as was the House of Commons again and the privy council office. This morning I welcome the State Department in Washington, where some are quite interested in this post.

      Host Name:
      Browser: Chrome 19.0
      IP Address: — [Label IP Address] Operating System: WinXP

      Location: Washington, District Of Columbia, United States Resolution: Unknown
      Returning Visits: 43 Javascript: Disabled

      ISP: U.s. Department Of State

      Navigation PathDate Time WebPage
      (No referring link)
      13 Jun 06:28:59​-ii-the​-architects​-behind​-canadas​-china​-policy​/

      Interesting to note again, that while the Harper government has, as mentioned, allowed Huwei to partner with Bell and Telus… this is what a former Pentagon analyst has to say and why the US and other countries refused to allow that company to do business with them, and within them:

      Former Pentagon Analyst Says China Can Shut Down All The Telecom Gear It Sold To The US

      Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could “disable a country’s telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement,” according to former and current intelligence sources.

      The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks “to enable China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets,” according to the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of former U.S. intelligence analysts.

      The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as ZTE Corp. have “electronic backdoors” to telecommunications technology sold to the U.S. and other countries.

      Revelation of China’s electronic backdoor capability into U.S. and Western telecommunications networks comes on the heels of recent WND/G2Bulletin revelations that China has been manufacturing counterfeit components that have made their way into sensitive U.S. weapons systems.

      The problem of fake Chinese electronic components, which were installed by defense contractors without prior testing and are operating in U.S. military systems, is far more widespread than originally thought.

      These parts don’t just come directly from China but also from suppliers in Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products to U.S. defense contractors.

      These counterfeit components have been found in sensitive U.S. missile systems meant to thwart the potential of a Chinese missile attack, in night vision devices and in various military aircraft.

      “We do not want a $12 million defense interceptor’s reliability compromised by a $2 counterfeit part,” Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.

      Huawei, suspected of exploiting electronic telecommunications backdoors, continues to sell communications technology in the U.S. and other countries despite a supposed ban on the company that was supposed to keep it from bidding on cellular networks and government contracts, a current intelligence source said.

      The electronic backdoor capability reportedly could allow the Chinese government through Huawei and ZTE to access information traveling through telecommunications networks or even sabotage electronic devices, Lignet said.

      With this capability, China would be in a position to sabotage critical U.S. weapons systems and sensitive cyber sites and could include intelligence or systems used by defense contractors doing work on behalf of the U.S. government.

      With cyber espionage on the rise and increasing attacks aimed at U.S. government computer systems, these sources contend that Huawei has achieved that capability on behalf of the Chinese government.

      Sources say that Huawei can use its backdoor access to reach into foreign telecommunications company systems without its knowledge or permission.

      In the case of the mobile phone maker ZTE, Lignet said that the company pursued a security vulnerability through an electronic backdoor on cell phones run on Google’s Android system.

      “This backdoor reportedly could allow someone to remotely control the phone,” Lignet said.

      In 2013 defense budget legislation, the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee had introduced language to require a search of all U.S. nuclear weapons arsenals and infrastructure to remove products from Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE because of the possibility of “backdoors or code for espionage and/or sabotage purposes by the Chinese government,” Lignet pointed out.

      These revelations follow a warning by the U.S. Department of Defense that Chinese hackers are aiming malware at U.S. government agencies and industries that could threaten the nation’s economy.

      The indication is that these attacks are directed by the Chinese government itself.

      “Chinese actors are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage,” according to a DOD in a recent report to Congress. “Chinese attempts to collect U.S. technological and economic information will continue at a high level and will represent a growing and persistent threat to U.S. economic security.

      “China is likely to remain an aggressive and capable collector of sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace,” DOD added.

      Another concern raised by sources is that Huawei and the other Chinese telecommunications companies also provide technology to Iran and the Taliban.

      According to sources, Iran’s security network relies on Huawei technology, raising the prospect, sources say, that the Iranians could gain the same backdoor access as the Chinese intelligence service does to U.S. defense and sensitive industries.

      This concern has been heightened by new Iranian threats to undertake a cyber war with the U.S. in response to recent revelations that the U.S. was a principal player in launching a sophisticated cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

      Code-named Olympic Games, the effort by the Obama administration was to initiate a cyber war against Iran along with Israel. Such a revelation left little doubt that the U.S. and Israel also were behind the Stuxnet virus which was inflicted on Iran’s centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium.

      One source said that Washington already has declared that a cyber attack on U.S. computer systems would constitute an act of war and that would call for a military response. The Pentagon earlier this month said that there would be a U.S. military response if there is a cyber attack on government networks – in effect, equating hacking with an act of war.

      Yet, the U.S. already has initiated such an attack on Iran which now is threatening to do the same thing to U.S. computer systems.

      In attempting to uncover cyber attacks before too much damage has been done, sources say that there are millions of lines of software code that transmit data securely and to find a malicious code would be problematic and cost-prohibitive.

      F. Michael Maloof, staff writer for WND’s G2Bulletin, is a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He can be contacted at


  14. This is some serious, and very scary information.
    Everyone’s worrying about carbon footprints while the communist “enemy” country is massing for war, infiltrating all forms of government and high-ranking positions with agents and destroying us from within with shoddy materials and components designed to spy, and they did it without (so far, technically) firing a shot.

    Any country that would outsource it’s weapons component manufacturing to a communist country in order to exploit labor loop-holes that would allow certain business fellows to make trillions while literally giving away their country, deserves everything they get.
    Sucks that, being on the same land mass (Canada) we’ll have to suffer their fate too.



    Chinese paramilitary policemen patrol past a Sinopec petrol station in Beijing (Teh Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images)
    Prime Minister Harper’s February trip to China was portrayed as an attempt to promote Canadian oil sales, especially after the failure of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project that sought to gain rapid environmental approval in the United States.

    After Nebraska farmers and environmentalists voiced concern about risks to the Ogallala Aquifer, a democratic government delayed approval until environmental assessments could be completed. For Canada, Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would ship crude oil to Kitimat, British Columbia, for shipment to China, was suddenly endorsed as a new alternative.

    Certainly, Harper’s challenge is not to sell oil. The Chinese, like the Americans, need a steady supply of oil to fuel their economic growth. They do not need to be convinced so by visiting politicians, as if Harper were peddling snake oil rather than petroleum.

    China’s recent entry into the oil sands, although unprecedented in Canadian history, is done according to Canadian law. And Harper’s legislative agenda may give China’s state-run oil companies an even stronger presence in Canada. Harper thus needs to sell his radical plans for Canada’s oil sands to Canadians.

    The auction of Canadian oil assets to China began under Harper’s watch. In the eight largest energy deals of 2010 and 2011, China invested $16 billion in the industry. The most significant deal happened when Chinese state-owned Sinopec purchased outright Daylight Energy for $2.2 billion in December 2011.

    Sinopec also contributed in 2011 to a consortium that provided over $100 million of upfront financing to Enbridge for the Northern Gateway Pipeline. And Sinopec owns a 9.3 percent stake in Syncrude.

    With all of these investments, China has already become a major player in the oil fields, in ways consistent with Canadian law.

    Harper’s challenge is not to sell oil. The Chinese, like the Americans, need a steady supply of oil to fuel their economic growth.

    This is why the focus of attention should be Parliament.

    In Beijing, Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations for a Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), which will surely accelerate Chinese state investment in the sector, but which requires parliamentary oversight.

    Bill C-38, an omnibus budget bill with provisions designed to weaken Canada’s environmental laws, may also make it easier for Sinopec and Enbridge to evade opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

    Few MPs have drawn attention to these radical changes.

    Green Party leader Elizabeth May argues that a Canada-China FIPA will undermine Canadian energy sovereignty. Its investor-state provisions could give corporations the right to sue if government actions, including new health or environmental regulations, reduced profit expectations.

    May notes that Sinopec’s investments in the Northern Gateway are part of a strategy to export crude oil to China, where it can be refined by Sinopec. Obviously, this would take jobs away from Canadian refinery workers.

    These investments also give Chinese state firms unprecedented leverage in the Canadian economy and in Canadian politics—without reciprocity.

    These investments also give Chinese state firms unprecedented leverage in the Canadian economy and in Canadian politics—without reciprocity. China does not permit foreign companies to purchase oil assets in China, requiring instead that investors form joint ventures with Chinese companies.

    The import of Chinese labour standards is another concern. In 2007, Sinopec imported some 150 Chinese workers to build a storage tank on Canadian Natural Resources’ Horizon project. Two workers died and two were injured when the roof of the tank collapsed. The remaining workers were sent back to China.

    After investigation, Alberta laid 53 charges against Canadian Natural Resources and Sinopec for failing to protect worker safety. The trial was delayed repeatedly, with Sinopec’s construction company arguing that they have no presence in Canada and that a Canadian court summons is thus invalid.

    Furthermore, it was found that the Chinese workers were paid only a fraction of the promised wages.

    If the use of Chinese labour on Chinese-owned projects and joint ventures becomes standard practice, there is a risk that Canadian guest worker programs can lead to weakening of labour standards and downward pressure on Canadian wages.

    In the final analysis, the real issue is not China. The real issue is Canada. Do we want a Canada that lets foreign companies sue local and provincial governments if environmental legislation might lessen their profits, or a Canada that can enforce environmental regulations demanded by its own citizens?

    Do we want a Canada that imports cheap foreign labour and circumvents labour standards, or a Canada that encourages the hiring of unionized workers?

    Do we want a Canada that lets foreign state firms effectively nationalize our energy assets. or a Canada that puts its own sovereignty first?

    Do we want exponential increases in oil sands exploitation, or slower, more sustainable development and a shift to more environmentally friendly lifestyles?

    What we do with our oil sands will make a difference. Sinopec and other foreign firms can only enter Canada under the provisions of Canadian law. We must thus be vigilant about a Canada-China FIPA, C-38, and any other law that threatens to sell out our environmental sovereignty.

    Scott Simon is chair of Taiwan Studies at the University of Ottawa, a professor, and the author of three books on the social and political dimensions of development in Taiwan.

    The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

    ( Note,I do not agree with this authors use of the term oil sands.. they are not oil sands,which I agree is a bit of a greenwash effort to make it sound better than tar sands, or bitumen.)



    And the most telling story that was filtered out on a Friday afternoon…..

    ORONTO – Federal investigators are probing if national security rules were breached during a boozy dinner in which Canadian border services brass were allegedly wined and dined by members of the Chinese embassy and their public security agents.

    A complaint was filed to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner following a Aug. 3 party at a Mississauga restaurant that was attended by five officials of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and a delegation from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ottawa and visiting Ministry of Public Security agents.

    Edith Lachapelle, of the Commissioner’s office, could not confirm or deny what complaints are received nor could she talk of specifics of any case.

    Officials of the CBSA were asked for a comment and did not provide one by press time.

    “Reports from this “meeting” suggest that it was nothing more than a drunk fest,” said the complaint, that was obtained by Sun Media. “The drinking was so extreme that some (officials) were totally incoherent and unable to operate their vehicle while others were puking in Canadian-government vehicles.”

    The complaint alleged one senior CBSA official had to be driven home.

    The name of the complainant has been withheld due to fears of reprisals by CBSA management officials.

    The document claimed CBSA staff are concerned about possible leaks that may have taken place of classified information on Chinese immigrants, fugitives or deportees.

    “It is well known that Chinese officials are generous hosts and push alcohol and other incentives as a means of co-opting and influencing Canadian government officials,” the Commissioner was told. “Such ‘tactics’ on the part of Chinese officials have been widely reported.”

    “It is shocking that CBSA officials would not have been more aware and sensitive to the situation,” the complaint stated. “How do we know that information sensitive to Canadian national interests were not divulged to the Peoples’ Republic of China or other sensitive information compromised?”

    The complainant called the dinner a “frat party.”

    “This sort of behaviour is unbecoming of public servants representing Canada and certainly not what you would expect from our more senior officials,” the Commissioner was told.

    Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), told a House of Commons committee in 2010 that foreign influence “is more common here and elsewhere than many think and it is desirable that this threat should be known and discussed.”

    Fadden said cabinet ministers in at least two provinces were being influenced by foreign governments.

    He said CSIS has ongoing investigations into politicians at the provincial and municipal lever who are agents of influence for foreign governments in Canada.

    Just last year Tory MP Bob Dechert, then parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice, came under fire and had to undergo fresh cabinet security checks after it was revealed he sent flirtatious e-mails to a journalist working for the state-run agency linked to China’s intelligence services.

    Dechert, the MP for Mississauga-Erindale, is now a parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.


  17. Great stuff Laila.
    We have to do business with Asia because we cannot continue to rely on our best longtime largest trading partner USA. We have too many eggs in one US basket and the fiscal road they are going down is very dangerous as they are getting further into debt not unlike Greece, Italy Spain etc. and they do not appear to be able or willing to correct their course. Their economy has been regressing and could get to crisis conditions sooner than later. We are attached at the hip and will be sucked down the drain with them.
    Canada is in a very precarious position without many options. China knows this and is playing hardball.
    I discount conspiracy theories just because profit motive Corporations are in play.
    Corporations have been around for a long time and aren’t going away any time soon. They are the structure of Capitalism, Financial Markets, Trade, many Laws etc. and form ‘Private Enterprise’.
    Governments role is to provide the regulatory framework and tax structure for ‘Private Enterprise’ to function and prosper. This provides the jobs and resulting revenue for the gov’t to spend on infrastructure, operations and social services etc..
    We Canadians have to be a lot less trusting, smarter and tougher when dealing with foreign Corp’s especially state owned Corp’s like China. It’s imperitive that we protect our resources, sovereignty and jobs etc. and not enter into dumb Trade Agreements that do not benefit our interests.
    The Federal and BC gov’ts should make reading the book “Death by China” mandatory.


  18. A great piece of journalism. It’s frightening to think how one corporation,and one family can wield so much influence. No wonder one of Harper’s first attacks was gutting the elections act. We need to take back “our” government.


Comments are closed.