While many if not most Canadians were celebrating Thanksgiving with their families yesterday, distracted by tummies full of turkey, the news that Governor General David Johnston was headed to China came out. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/governor-general-heading-to-china-to-push-canada-sino-relations-forward/article14851243/
Governor-General David Johnston will serve as the sharp end of a political stick that the Harper government is pointing at China this coming week, amid renewed concern that Chinese investment in Canada is drying up.
Within hours of delivering Wednesday’s throne speech in Ottawa, Johnston will be on a plane bound for the People’s Republic for his first official visit as Governor-General.
Johnston will address the powerful Canada China Business Council’s annual general meeting in Beijing a few days after his arrival. And he said he knows energy and investment will be top of mind.
China is hungry for natural resources and Canada is eager to oblige, but there are serious obstacles, including a stalled pipeline process to carry Alberta crude to Pacific Ocean ports, as well as mixed messages about whether Canada is really open to foreign investment from so-called state-owned enterprises.
Correct me if I am wrong, but when was the title “Lobbyist” added to the Governor General’s duties?
From the Governor Generals website: ” The governor general is non-partisan and apolitical.”
Since when has it become acceptable and proper for the office that is expected to be non-partisan in function, a safeguard against abuse of power whose role is largely constitutional and ceremonial, to head on over to China to drum up business for Harper? This trip is anything but non-partisan and apolitical!! He is specifically going to reassure Chinese investors, and Chinese state-owned investors, that Canada is open for business and please give us some as soon as possible.
It is not only a severe blow to the respect inherent to the office, it is a complete bastardization of the title bestowed upon David Johnston.
” The Canada China Business Council (CCBC) is the country’s Canada-China bilateral trade and investment facilitator, catalyst and advocate. Founded in 1978 as a private, not-for-profit business association, CCBC provides unparalleled insight into Sino-Canadian trade and investment issues and develops connections that ensure its members’ business success. In addition to its focused and practical services, the Council is also the voice of the Canadian business community on issues affecting Sino-Canadian trade and investment. “
Their website states : “Our business events offer CCBC members privileged opportunities to engage Canadian and Chinese officials..”
No kidding. The Board of Directors and members of the Council are a Who’s Who of the business world and political players. SNC Lavalin, Power Corporation, including representatives from Chinese State owned Investment companies : http://www.ccbc.com/about/board-of-directors/
Indeed…. Governor General David Johnston has become just another political tool in Stephen Harper’s playbook. When non-partisan offices use government resources to lobby big business overseas, and no one bats an eyelash, there’s something wrong in Canada.
I leave you with this excerpt from my prior post on the Canada China Business Council and Harper:
“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 defense, 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.”