CACN - Member Biographies - Nov 16, 2020

CACN Ministerial Appearance on the Situation in Hong Kong

Special Committee on Canada-China Relations (CACN)

CPC

Garnett Genuis - Vice-Chair / Critic for International Development and Human Rights

Hon. Michael Chong - Critic for Foreign Affairs

Pierre Paul-Hus

John Williamson

BQ

Stéphane Bergeron - Critic for Foreign Affairs

NDP

Jack Harris - Critic for Foreign Affairs

LPC

Hon. Geoff Regan - Chair

Emmanuel Dubourg

Peter Fragiskatos

Robert Oliphant - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs / Former chair of CIMM

Jean Yip

Lenore Zann

Opposition Critics for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

CPC

Raquel Dancho

NDP

Jenny Kwan

BQ

Christine Normandin

Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, AB)
Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations

Critic for International Development and Human Rights

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

Garnett Genuis is currently the Conservative Critic for International Development and Human Rights. He previously served as the Conservative Critic for Canada-China Relations and Multiculturalism. MP Genuis has presented a private member’s bill and numerous petitions over the past two parliaments to draw attention to the combat against trafficking in human organs.

Statements of Note

MP Genuis is one of the most active and vocal Members of Parliament on China issues and is highly critical of the Government’s strategy regarding China. He has questioned the suitability of Ambassador Dominic Barton’s role as Canada’s representative in China, noting the Ambassador’s praise for the Chinese response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Recently, MP Genuis has raised concerns about potential hostage diplomacy with “thousands of Michaels” being used against Canada and continuously brings up the possibility of an immigration lifeboat scheme.

MP Genuis has repeatedly raised concerns regarding the Uyghur Muslim population in China, and has introduced petitions, requested late show debates, and asked questions during Question Period, including the use of targeted sanctions against Chinese officials, population control, the destruction of Uyghur culture, and supply chains. MP Genuis is active on social media, tweeting almost daily about this issue and what he perceives to be lack of action.

In addition, to his advocacy work regarding the Uyghurs in China, MP Genius is engaged with the situation in Hong Kong. Prior to the committee’s study on Hong Kong, he brought up the topic regularly and strongly advocated for the committee to study Hong Kong. MP Genuis has repeatedly stressed his concern regarding the imposition of the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong, the end of democracy and free press in the city, and the end of the one country two systems model. He has raised concerns for the safety of the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong and Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. He is in support of targeted sanctions on CCP and Hong Kong officials responsible for the implementation of the NSL. He is also supportive of immigration options to protect Canadians and pro-democracy activists and help them seek safe haven in Canada.

MP Genuis was mentioned and quoted in a Globe & Mail article published on July 21, 2020, “government’s ‘complete lack of use’ of Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials has been ‘disappointing.’”

Hon. Michael Chong, P.C. (Wellington—Halton Hills, ON)
Critic for Foreign Affairs

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Chong is currently serving as the Official Opposition’s Critic for Foreign Affairs. MP Chong served as the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Minister for Sport from February to November 2006. He has been a member of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association (CANA), the Canada-China Legislative Association (CACN), and the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group (CEUS), among others.

Background

MP Chong was first elected to Parliament in 2004 and has been Chair of several House of Commons Standing Committees. He is a co-founder and member of the All Party Climate Caucus since it was formed in 2011. In the 42nd Parliament, MP Chong served as the Official Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Shadow Minister for Science. In 2016, MP Chong ran for leadership of the CPC, but was unsuccessful.

MP Chong’s father was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada in 1952. His mother immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1960. MP Chong obtained a degree in philosophy University of Toronto.

Statements of Note

Recently, MP Chong has asked about Canadians receiving protection from the consulate and whether it is possible to seek asylum there.

On October 12, 2020, MP Chong was directly critical of China, commenting in an interview that COVID-19 is not an excuse to deny consular access to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. On September 30, 2020, MP Chong stated that China was violating human rights and international treaties in its treatment of Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig, the Uyghurs, and the people of Hong Kong. He asked if the government would impose sanctions on those responsible in China. On September 16, 2020, MP Chong flagged the detention of Michael Kovrig and Spavor, the National Security Law, and Canadians’ changing attitude toward China.

Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, Québec)
Critic for Public Services and Procurement

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Paul-Hus has been the CPC critic for Public Services and Procurement since 2019, he was also the critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in 2017. He is a member of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association (CANA) and the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group (CAUS).

Background

MP Paul-Hus is a graduate of political science at Laval University and owner of Prestige Media Group. He is a military officer (Reserve) and a graduate of the Canadian Army Command and Staff College and the Ecole Militaire in Paris, where he also taught. In 1987, he enlisted and joined the Régiment de la Chaudière, reserve unit of the Canadian Armed Forces. During his 22 years of service, he conducted two operational missions: one in Labrador under the aegis of NATO, and the second in Cyprus to the United Nations. He retired in 2009 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. MP Paul-Hus has also been vice president of Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada (the largest wine competition in North America) for 11 years.

Statements of Note

MP Paul-Hus has not raised issues related to immigration and refugees on the subject of Hong Kong, although he has been pretty vocal in the past about irregular migration in his capacity as a member of Public Safety and National Security (SECU).

After a visit to Taiwan in 2018, MP Paul-Hus commented that, “Diplomatic relations between Taiwan and foreign countries are very complicated given its status with China. This is why Canada must get more involved in order to strengthen the friendship and relations between our two countries.”

John Williamson (New Brunswick Southwest, NB)

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Williamson has served as the Vice-Chair for the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group (CAUS). He has been a member of several other parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups including the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CCOM) and the Canada-China Legislative Association (CACN).

Background

MP Williamson was elected to the House of Commons in the 2011 Federal Election. Prior to his election, he was the director of communications in Stephen Harper’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) from 2009 until 2011. MP Williamson was defeated in the 2015 election, but was re-elected in 2019.

MP Williamson graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science. He later obtained a Master's Degree in economic history from the London School of Economics. He worked for the National Post as an editorial writer and was a founding member of their editorial board. He was a national director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and was their national spokesperson from January 2004 to September 2008.

Statements of Note

During CACN meetings, MP Williamson regularly raises concerns for the deteriorating democracy and free press in Hong Kong since the introduction of the NLS. MP Williamson has also asked witnesses if they believe Taiwan will be subject to a similar national security law in the future.

In March 2020, MP Williamson tabled a motion, “That the committee express its grave concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum in Hong Kong, and that this be reported to the House.” The motion passed, and was subsequently reported to the House.

In 2013, MP Williamson noted that, “While [the CPC] create better policy in Canada, the Liberal leader admires China’s basic dictatorship.”

Stéphane Bergeron (Montarville, QC)
Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations
Critic for Foreign Affairs

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

Bergeron is currently the Bloc Québécois’ (BQ) Critic for Foreign Affairs. He is a member of numerous parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups, particularly the Canada-China Legislative Association and the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association (CANA). He also served as the Whip for the BQ from 1997 to 2001.

Background

Bergeron served as a BQ member of the House of Commons from 1993 to 2005 and a member of Quebec’s National Assembly from 2005 to 2018. In 2019, he returned to the House of Commons as a BQ member.

Bergeron has bachelors and master’s degrees in Political Science. After first leaving the House of Commons and serving in Quebec’s National Assembly for 13 years, Bergeron was Registrar of Rimouski’s CEGEP. He was previously a political advisor and a teaching assistant at the Universite Laval within the Political Science department. From 1984 to 1993 he served in the Canadian Forces as a naval Cadet Instructor Cadre officer.

Statements of Note

MP Bergeron has recently asked whether the committee should be worried about Chinese reciprocity since it will likely be recommending to the government to implement a stream to find refuge. He asked the Consul General of Canada in Hong Kong whether they are preparing for an eventual possible exodus of those that may not have citizenship asking for asylum status.

During CACN meetings on the topic of Hong Kong, MP Bergeron has been particularly interested in targeted sanctions levied on CCP and Hong Kong officials as a policy option. He has also asked numerous witnesses about the Sino-British Joint Declaration and its validity under international law, and if the CCP would prevent Hong Kongers from leaving Hong Kong. Further, during the August 17 meeting of CACN, MP Bergeron asked about the impact of the relationship between China and the current administration of the United States on Canada’s relationship with China, asking a witness, “Under the circumstances, is it even possible to form a coalition… with the United States?”

Jack Harris (St. John’s East, NL)
Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations
Critic for Foreign Affairs

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Harris is currently the NDP’s Critic for Foreign Affairs, Public Safety, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He is also the Deputy Critic for Defence. Among the CACN members, only Harris was a member of the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan (AFGH) from 2010-2011, experience which is particularly relevant to this special committee in a minority parliament context.

Background

Jack Harris is a lawyer and politician from Newfoundland and Labrador. He has represented St John’s East several times: from 1987-1988, from 2008 to 2015, and winning his seat again in 2019. He was the leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party from 1992 to 2006.

Statements of Note

MP Harris has recently been vocal on immigration issues and raised a number of concerns, including the issue of dual citizenship not being recognized by the Chinese Communist Party. He also asked questions about how we could protect Hong Kongers such as Tony Chung (arrested due to social media) if they wish to seek asylum.

When hearing from a witness, he echoes their opinions as requesting the expansion of family reunification categories so that they're not only for spouses but also for parents and children and other relatives; extension [and offering more] visas for students and those already in Canada; assurance that there's continued visa-free admission from Hong Kong residents; and facilitation of safe exit. He also engaged witnesses who claimed that people will have to make refugee claims through UNHCR in a third country before they are resettled in Canada and that there should be a more direct route.

MP Harris has expressed concerns that Canada has not done enough to protect Hong Kong’s status, as was promised in 1997 upon the signing of the Joint Declaration. He has asked witnesses their recommendations for actions Canada could take to ensure the safe immigration of Hong Kongers to Canada. MP Harris has asked multiple witnesses at CACN meetings if they believe Canada needs legislation in response to foreign interference by the CCP.

On July 19, 2020, MP Harris released a statement on his website calling on the Government to “warn and protect Canadian travellers” related to the NSL. He noted, “These laws extend to foreign nationals and cover activities occurring outside China.

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, NS)
Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

Regan was elected the 36th Speaker of the House of Commons from 2015-2019. Regan was a member of the Canada-China Legislative Association (CACN) from October 2011 to March 2015. After the 2004 election, Regan was appointed to act as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in matters related to Maher Arar.

Regan served as the Liberal critic for Natural Resources under both Michael Ignatieff and Justin Trudeau. In 2003, he was appointed the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. During this time, he was also the Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. Regan was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from 2001 to 2003.

Background

Regan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Francis Xavier University, and a law degree from Dalhousie University. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1984. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and served until his defeat in the 1997 election. Regan was re-elected in the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2019 federal elections.

Statements of Note

MP Regan has not made any statements about China in either session of the 43rd Parliament.

Emmanuel Dubourg (Bourassa, QC)

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

During the 42nd Parliament, Dubourg served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue. He was a member of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association (CANA) from September 2018 to March 2019.

Background

MP Dubourg was born in Saint-Marc, Haiti and immigrated to Canada in 1974. He received a Bachelor of Accounting and a Master of Business Administration. He has been a member of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec since 1987. MP Dubourg was a teacher at Université du Québec à Montréal, Université du Québec en Outaouais, He also worked as a Manager and Advisor at the Canada Revenue Agency.

MP Dubourg has been honoured with several awards and citations for his work over the years, including the Governor General's Medal, the Innovation and Excellence prize from Revenue Canada in 1992 and the Black History Month Award in 2006 for his work in the black community.

MP Dubourg was previously a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec from 2007 to 2013. In 2013, he was elected to the House of Commons as an MP in a by-election.

Statements of Note

MP Dubourg does not appear to have any specific interests regarding the Canada-China relationship, and typically asks witnesses for their suggestions as to how Canada can repair its relationship with China.

Outside CACN meetings, MP Dubourg does not make mention of China.

Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre, ON)

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

Fragiskatos is a member of the Canada-China Legislative Association (CACN), and the Canada NATO Parliamentary Association (CANA).

Background

MP Fragiskatos has a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Western University, a Master's in International Relations from Queen’s University, and holds a PhD in International Relations from Cambridge University.

Before being elected to the House of Commons in 2015, MP Fragiskatos was a political scientist at King’s University College at Western University. He also worked as a media commentator. His works have been published by major Canadian and international news organizations including Maclean’s Magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, BBC News, and CNN. MP Fragiskatos served on the Board of Directors of Anago Resources and the Heritage London Foundation.

Statements of Note

During the prorogation of parliament between August 18 and September 23, 2020, MP Fragiskatos voiced his interest in seeing CACN return in the second session of the 43rd Parliament, despite being “initially skeptical” when it was created in late-2019.

During CACN meetings, MP Fragiskatos typically asks witnesses about Canadian businesses in China and how they are impacted by the ongoing bilateral tensions between Canada and China.

Outside CACN meetings, MP Fragiskatos does not make much mention of China.

Robert Oliphant (Don Valley West, ON)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Oliphant was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in May 2019 and retained this role in the 43rd Parliament.

He is actively involved in parliamentary associations. In particular, he has been a member of the Canada-China Legislative Association since December 2015. He is also actively involved in the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association.

Oliphant travelled to China in May 2019 as the Head of Delegation. Given his position as Parliamentary Secretary, this visit marked the first high-level interaction since bilateral irritants between Canada and China began in December 2018.

Background

MP Oliphant was first elected to the House of Commons in October 2008. He was defeated in the 2011 federal election but was re-elected in 2015 and 2019.

MP Oliphant graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto in 1978. During his time at U of T, he was active in the University of Toronto Liberal Club, as well as the Ontario (New) Young Liberals.  After obtaining a Master of Divinity from the Vancouver School of Theology, he was ordained as a United Church Minister in 1984.  His official title is The Reverend Doctor Robert Oliphant, MP.

MP Oliphant worked in Premier David Peterson’s office in 1989. He later worked for two provincial ministers, Christine Hart, Minister of Culture and Communications, and Mavis Wilson, Minister Responsible for Women’s issues.

Statements of Note

As Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, MP Oliphant typically takes on a leadership role among the LPC members of CACN.

Generally, MP Oliphant’s statements in the House regarding China have focused on defending the government’s positions. MP Oliphant raises Canadian consular services abroad in a number of contexts, including committee, social media, and House debate. He has stated a number of times that the return of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are the top priority of the Government.

MP Oliphant frequently defends Canada’s foreign policy, stating it “is based on renewing a rules-based international order that Canadians have built together, protecting universal human rights, supporting democracies,” and noting, “We are a leader in the world on critical issues, whether it is in Venezuela, or in the Middle East or in China, all around the world. We will continue to stand with our allies, with NATO partners, as we continue to ensure Canada's leadership is strong and heard in our world with allies and like-minded who work with us.”

Jean Yip (Scarborough-Agincourt, ON)

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

MP Yip serves as Co-Chair of the Liberal Seniors’ Caucus and is a member of the Liberal Party’s Caucuses on Housing Affordability, Immigration, and Mental Health as well as Women’s and Scarborough Caucuses. MP Yip is a member of the Canada-China Legislative Association (CACN) and the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CCOM).

Background

MP Yip was elected to the House of Commons via by-election in 2017. Her predecessor was her former husband Arnold Chan who died in 2017.

She was born in Scarborough, and raised in Agincourt, the riding that she now represents. Her mother is from Shanghai and her father is from Canton, but spent time in Hong Kong as a police clerk. Both later immigrated to Canada separately. After completing her degree at the University of Toronto, MP Yip pursued a career in insurance and underwriting and holds the Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional Designation.

Statements of Note

MP Yip recently asked a number of questions on the number of Canadians currently in Hong Kong, quoting the 300,000 figure taken from a survey done 10 years ago. She also asked whether there has been a recent increase in visa and immigration inquiries received by the Canadians Consul in Hong Kong.

At CACN meetings, MP Yip asks witnesses contextual questions about the situation in China and for updates on the Canada-China relationship. Outside CACN meetings, MP Yip does not make much mention of China.

Lenore Zann (Cumberland-Colchester, NS)

Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Roles

Background

MP Zann is Australian-Canadian actor and politician. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2019. Before entering federal politics, she represented the electoral district of Truro-Bible Hill in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 2009 until 2019 as a member of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NDP) and from June 9, 2019 until September 12, 2019 as an Independent.

MP Zann was initially a member of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NDP). During her first term, she was appointed Ministerial Assistant for Culture & Heritage, Environment and Climate Change, and Deputy Premier. Later as a member of the opposition, MP Zann was the NDP spokesperson for Education, Environment, Status of Women, Human Rights Commission, Aboriginal Affairs & Truth & Reconciliation, Agriculture, Advanced Education, African Nova Scotia Affairs, and Gaelic Affairs.

Statements of Note

Recently, MP Zann has spoken about how the Government of Australia has announced new visa arrangements, allowing extensions with a pathway to permanent residency for Hong Kong passport holders who have a temporary skilled visa or a graduate visa as well as the Government of the United Kingdom creation of a new immigration mechanism to allow about 2.9 million British nationals overseas from Hong Kong to apply for a visa of up to five years. She mentioned that they can apply for settled status and then naturalization, and indicated that it “sounds extremely good to me”.

Outside CACN meetings, MP Yip does not make much mention of China.

Raquel Dancho (St. Paul, MB)
Vice-Chair and Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Topics of Interest

Statements of Note

Although MP Dancho has not raised any items of note in relation to China or Hong Kong, her colleague MP Chiu, also a member of CIMM, has been active on the topic. He has asked many questions such as whether Hong Kong residents can safely immigrate to Canada and whether they meet ordinary refugee status requirements.

He has also asked about plans to expedite refugee applications from Hong Kong and echoes his party colleagues on discussing the option of adopting a lifeboat policy for those unjustly arrested and charged in Hong Kong for crimes that do not have a comparable criminal law here in Canada and who are wanting to seek asylum in Canada.

Social Media and Press Conferences

YouTube

Twitter

Biography

Background

Parliament

Education and Career

Christine Normandin (BQ—Saint-Jean, QC)
Second Vice-Chair and Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Topics of Interest

Statements of Note

MP Normandin has not raised any items of note in relation to China or Hong Kong.

Biography

Background

Parliament

Education and Career

Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, BC)
Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Topics of Interest

Interventions in Parliament

On October 20, 2020, MP Kwan moved a motion for Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) to conduct a study on special immigration and refugee measures to provide a safe haven to the people of Hong Kong facing persecution under the new National Security Law this motion was adopted with a potential Ministerial Appearance.

On June 17, 2020, at CIMM, MP Kwan asked if the minister consider bringing forward a special immigration measure for the people of Hong Kong, including possibly working with the U.K. government to accept asylum seekers from Hong Kong.

Biography

Background

Parliament

Education and Career

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