Why an agreement signed in 2013 under Harper, holds the key to why PLA soldiers trained on Canadian soil

I’ve been blogging so long, sometimes even I forget what I have written about, but the current story of Chinese soldiers training on Canadian soil that’s raising eyebrows, didn’t raise mine and was no surprise to my longtime readers either. The link above is subscriber only, and y’all are probably as tight with your money as I am right now, so a friend sent me screenshots of the article 😁 read left to right. ( apologies to the Globe and Mail but if you send me a free subscription, I’ll stop doing it…)

Isn’t that something. Now lets go back to how this came to be and who else should be answering questions here. The Federal NDP should be firing on all cylinders at both the federal Liberals and the Conservatives.

It was August 24th 2013, and I had been writing about then Prime Minister Stephen Harpers about face on Sino-Canadian relations for a while, because frankly it was quite compelling. And at the time, I scooped all major media in Canada by 5 days, because CTV – the first msm outlet to cover it-didn’t do so until the 29th.


While everyone is up in arms over the story of a Chinese reporter being denied the right to ask questions of Harper following some sort of shoving incident, perhaps what is a far more important story of Sino-Canadian relations has gone by the wayside.

As reported in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily Online http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8376276.html , Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan  and Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson held talks on Thursday and signed an initiative following their meetings.

Chang said military relations between China and Canada have maintained a sound momentum of development, as evidenced by frequent contacts between military leaders of the two sides, and their smooth and close coordination on global and regional issues.

Meanwhile, continuous progress has been made in bilateral military cooperation, such as in military training, international peace-keeping, defense education and mutual visits by warships, he said.

Chang also said China is ready to work with Canada to enhance their military ties by promoting high-level exchanges, strengthening strategic mutual trust, deepening pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, and reinforcing multilateral coordination.

Nicolson said he is glad to see the two militaries have engaged in positive interactions. He said, as Canada and China share common interests in many issues, militaries of the two countries need to promote dialogue and deepen cooperation in a bid to push their relations forward continuously.

After the meeting, Chang and Nicolson signed an initiative, under which the two countries agreed to promote high-level military exchanges and establish a defence coordination dialogue mechanism. Also on Thursday, Chang held talks with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. 

This comes following  two events of note earlier this year:  the keynote speech given by Ambassador Zhang Junsai at a luncheon in Calgary hosted by Alberta Oil Magazine( May 30th, 2013) , and the historic visit and meetings of Peter Mackay with  Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan a few days later in Beijing. ( June 2nd, 2013)

At the luncheon hosted by Alberta Oil Magazine in May, Amabassador Zhang Junsai offered several insights into both China’s investment and resource strategy, as well as how they view Canada’s resources.

I do suggest you go and read that entire blog post, and the comments which always hold as much information as the blog, thanks to readers and other bloggers.

Here is where the irony comes in.

Defence minister Harjit Sajin was under fire on this issue in the House of Commons, and rightly so. While Sino-Canadian relations are both critical and sensitive for many reasons,there has widely been a line in the sand internationally, when it comes to how the defence community views relations with the Chinese government, and how politicians view it.

It’s long been a bone of contention for many in national defence that politicians often make promises and agreements that either do impact or have potential to impact national security, in their quest to make political gains. Until the two Michaels were detained, and the Hong Kong protests, most people forgot that China is still not a democracy, and that relations with the Chinese government will never be the same as relations with a democratic country.

But I digress, albeit with pertinent context. Let’s get back to the irony of Conservative Defence critic James Bezan questioning Sajin on these revelations…. when Bezan was previously parliamentary secretary to Rob Nicholson, the former Conservative defence minister who signed that agreement in 2013!!

Perhaps someone might want to talk to Rob Nicholson, Peter Mackay and ask exactly what the agreement states, because Canadians need some clarity as to what Canada was actually tied into. Why?

Because when questioned about this back in 2013 by CTV’s Murray Brewster, 5 days after my initial blog post was passed onto several media outlets, this was the Conservatives response:

A spokeswoman for Nicholson, Genevieve Breton, confirmed the meeting took place and described the agreement as a “non-binding” co-operation plan that formalizes a process already in place.


Another issue of importance has been the increased use of cyberattacks on western commercial, industrial and government targets. Last winter, a U.S.-based cybersecurity firm, Mandiant, accused a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai of mounting hundreds of online attacks against American companies.

Last June, former defence minister Peter MacKay raised the issue with Chang, saying he laid down “clear markers” when the two met in Beijing.

Breton confirmed the topic was discussed again, but would not provide detail.

Now there are a few questions that need to be asked here.

  1. Conservative defence critic James Bezan should be asked where is this agreement his old boss and government signed, and what was the context of the “non-binding cooperation plan”.
  2. Harjit Sajin should be asked why, if indeed it was a non binding agreement signed in 2013, did they subsequently agree to host PLA soldiers for training on Canadian soil ?
  3. The federal Liberals need to be pushed to produce this agreement so Canadians can see another example of what kinds of commitments successive governments have gotten us into.

From the embassy site in Canada :

9 thoughts on “Why an agreement signed in 2013 under Harper, holds the key to why PLA soldiers trained on Canadian soil

  1. I am absolutely gobsamcked.

    That two Canadians are being held hostage in deplorable conditions by this government, a quasi capitalist/communist now fascist dictatorship and the Canadian government allows this; is short of treasonous.

    I am at a loss for words


    1. Both the Liberal party of Canada, and the Conservatives, have some explaining to do.

      Now, will anyone ask Erin O’Toole why his party allowed for this to happen in the first place? Its a but rich to see the LPC and Tories firing back and forth here.
      The Tories were wrong to make such an agreement.
      But the LPC, just went along with it, and said nothing. They allowed it to happen. They could have said something, and didn’t.

      I do hope someone puts them all on the hot seat. This is where Elizabeth May has shone in the past. She has gone where Mulcair feared to go.


      Btw can someone tell Rebel media it was Harpers govt who made this deal in the first place?


  2. Laila:

    Thank you for the last two posts you sent they are riveting & exceptionally well researched, but I have one question. Do you send them to social media outlets, they should be, what you have to say is important for the cause of truth & justice? We all miss you in the public realm & I know you have a private life, but will you consider allowing your readership to Tweet or Instagram your stories to our followers…


    Dave Unger Kelowna, BC


    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so lovely to read. I miss you all too, I really do. I am quite happy for anyone to share as they see fit. I have not contemplated a return to social media, other than the small, personal account on Facebook I maintain for close friends and family, and that does make it difficult to stay connected with all of you. 😔 We really had the best people in the followers on twitter, such passionate, progressive people who put the right thing above the partisan thing.
      I do follow Twitter from afar occasionally, at least what is available without an account. But I do try to check in more often here now. And will have more posts over the holidays, including some more of my more soulful writing thats not political at all.

      I hope you are well Dave, and keeping busy. Give my regards to the good people on twitter…( I even miss the people I used to spar with, like Ryan @inthe250 ..lol. or Blair King. 🤣 )

      Anyways, tweet, Instagram, carry on. I appreciate the efforts !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh it is just so sick when some of our politicians commit acts of treachery such as this. Trudeau is perhaps the most assinine and treacherous kind of leader. Does it not disturb enough people about his actions, and also stating a few years back that he Admires the basic dictatorship of China. Basic. Seriously. Who would say shit like that especially from a high position of standing in Canadian politics without meaning it. It’s impossible for me think he doesn’t mean stuff like that.
    But yeah, Harper and his people were disgusting for starting this. I still feel that Trudeau is the most corrupt, and disturbing leader so far, and a Clear and Present Danger to Canada’s integrity and security. But what choices have we really had lately for leadership picks. They are all highly Questionable and suspect as far as I’m concerned when it comes to their complete loyalty to Canadians and their security.
    But all things about this 2013 Agreement from Harper and the continuation thereof under Trudeau’s ship of incompetents and fools is really short of treasonous. Or is it just short.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very relevant post right now, as politico’s point fingers at each other with rising tensions in geopolitics.
    Some of our memories are long and we do not forget.


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