Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement regarding the charges laid by the Chinese government against Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor:

“It’s been 18 months since Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arbitrarily and unlawfully detained by the Chinese government. While in prison, these two Canadians have been subject to near torturous conditions and have had no access to lawyers or consular services for months. During this time, Justin Trudeau has done nothing to stand up against the People’s Republic of China’s actions.

“This case should be being dealt with at the highest levels. But Justin Trudeau has repeatedly refused to intervene.  His failure to do so and his decision to pick a Minister of Foreign Affairs who is indebted to a bank owned by the Chinese Communist Party has only further weakened Canada’s position. This is the same minister who just three years ago said that ‘China stands out as a beacon of stability, predictability, a rule-based system, a very inclusive society.’ I highly doubt Mr. Kovrig or Mr. Spavor would agree.

“Over the past five years, Justin Trudeau’s weak leadership and naïve approach to Beijing has let Canadians down. Many Canadians have been illegally detained, our exports have been blocked, our citizens harassed, and medical equipment we’ve received has been defective or contaminated, and Justin Trudeau has done nothing.

“He’s refused to pull Canadian taxpayer’s money from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and he still refuses to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G network.

“Canadians deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to Canada’s relationship with Beijing, and they deserve to know that their government is standing up for our national interests. I will continue to call for Justin Trudeau to personally intervene in this case and hold him accountable for his naïve approach to Beijing.”