Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, issued the following statement today in response to reports that the Liberal government are threatening to withdraw funding from the Halifax Security Forum over an award to Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen:

“It’s very troubling that the Trudeau Liberals are threatening to withdraw funding from the Halifax Security Forum if organizers decide to award the prestigious John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service to Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan.

“The Halifax Security Forum is one of the free world’s most significant defence meetings. Awarding the John McCain award to Tsai Ing-wen for her leadership in standing against pressure from the Chinese Communist regime would send a strong message to Beijing that the free world is united against their bullying tactics.

“Instead of supporting the people of Taiwan, the Trudeau Liberals have threatened to pull support from the forum if the organizers went ahead with the award. This attempt to silence those critical of China is shameful. Canada should support those who stand up and speak out against the Chinese Communist Party’s violations of human rights and international law.

“We cannot let our beliefs in human rights, democracy, and the rule of law be lost to authoritarianism and fear. 

“Canada’s Conservatives will continue to pressure the Liberals to work with our partners and allies to stand up and speak out against the threats coming from the Chinese Communist regime – not join them in silencing those brave enough to speak up.”