The opposition parties complicated an already complicated relationship with Superpower China. In the minority Parliament on Tuesday they voted overwhelming to set up a special parliamentary committee on China with a mandate to review all aspects of Canada’s strained bilateral relations with the world’s second-largest economy.
The Liberals opposed a special committee on China but were out-voted 171 to 148 in the first defeat for the government since it was returned to power with a minority.
The Conservatives and NDP worked together to endanger the future freedom of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The diplomat and businessman have been held in a Chinese jail for one year. Their arrest is due to the jailing of Meng WanZhou a high ranking military official in the communist party. The Chinese are unlikely to view favourably a public whipping of their conduct.
While the opposition parties believe that this will help reset Chinese-Canada relations, the reset may put Canada in a worse position and is deemed by diplomatic officials as being unhelpful to resolving trade and security issues.
There is currently, a secret Parliamentary committee which has the power to call witnesses from the spy agencies, government officials, ministers, and business leaders to better direct the government in their work.
If past history is an indication of the future than the committee will likely be highly partisan and create volatile outcomes for Canada-China relations.