Niki Ashton’s statement

MP Niki Ashton [Churchill—Keewatinook Aski] was scheduled to deliver a statement concerning Meng Wanzhou on the November 24 panel. Although she was unable to deliver the statement personally, she was able to send her statement to be read live by Henry Evans-Tenbrinke during the event.

For those who missed the panel, or wanted to take a closer look, we are republishing Ashton’s statement, below.

Niki Ashton:


Good evening,

I would like to share a message of greetings tonight.

By way of personal introduction in addition to being a member of Parliament my background is in international relations in peace and conflict studies.

I am concerned about what I see as a growing threat. The rising tide of Trump style sinophobia and about what is increasingly becoming a new cold war. I believe we need to talk about our role as Canadians. What we can and must do to make a difference.

We are seeing rising sinophobia.

Ironically at a time when Donald Trump has just been defeated in the US we have those in Canada that want to bring that same type of agenda – Red baiting, dog whistle politics. We saw with the Conservative leadership race just how far this has gone. A leadership candidate who made one of the most blatantly racist accusations in this case against Canada’s top public health official who is of Chinese background . That candidate not only was not disqualified from running he now continues to sit as a Conservative member of parliament.

What is also a stake is who we are and what we are as a country. As Canadians we need to be peacebuilders again in this world. We need to build on our history of peace building and peace keeping.
We need to work for peace, not just the absence of war but a positive peace of social and economic justice and respect for human rights. It includes valuing diplomacy, engagement and the resolution of conflict. That values dialogue. That includes a commitment to resolving bilateral and multi lateral disputes. That recognizes that Canada can play a key role in terms of reducing much of the tension in the world. That we need to be engaging each other as Canadians in reasoned debate on these key issues.

That was the spirit in which I agreed to bring forward the petition.
I believe that as we hopefully soon enter into the post COVID-19 world, now more than ever we need to be engaging with China and other countries around the world. Whatever our differences-and we need to resolve them- we need to work globally for a
post Covid 19 recovery.

I am concerned that we are entering a new cold war. At the same time we need to be reminded of how in the last cold war that we came so close so many times to real conflict. How peace movements around the world, community grassroots voices of sanity played such a key role in pulling us back from that brink.

Canada can play a role. Canadians can play a key role. Let’s do what we can. Let’s fight back against the growing sinophobia. Let’s put forward a vision of peace and diplomacy that sees Canada playing a key role as a peacebuilder in a post COVID-19 world.

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