Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

People hold signs calling for China to release Canadian detainees Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, in Vancouver, March 6, 2019.

LINDSEY WASSON/Reuters

Canada has obtained an agreement to allow greater family and consular access for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadians detained for more than two years in China.

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says the agreement was reached “over the past months.”

Syrine Khoury did not elaborate.

Story continues below advertisement

The government has pushed for increased consular access to the two Michaels but this is the first time it has mentioned access for the men’s families.

The two were arbitrarily detained in December 2018 in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on an extradition request from the United States.

Khoury confirmed that Canada granted travel exemptions late last year to Meng’s husband and two children to visit her in Vancouver, where she awaits an extradition hearing.

Michael Kovrig has been in Chinese detention since December 2018, and has been even more isolated since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in China. In June, The Globe spoke with his wife Vina Nadjibulla, who is spearheading efforts to have Mr. Kovrig released and returned to Canada. The Globe and Mail

She did not say if that was part of the agreement reached to allow more family access for Kovrig and Spavor.

“Ms. Meng’s family was authorized by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) officials to travel to Canada,” Khoury said in an email statement Wednesday.

“As in all cases, this decision was made in accordance with Canadian laws and in strict compliance with the current travel OiCs (orders in council).”

“The arbitrary detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor is unacceptable. We continue to call for their immediate release,” she added.

Story continues below advertisement

“Over the past months, Canada has obtained agreements involving increased family and consular access for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.”

Conservative immigration critic Raquel Dancho blasted the travel exemptions for Meng’s family when Canadians are being told to avoid all non-essential travel and have been prohibited from reuniting with family abroad amid efforts to curb the wildfire spread of COVID-19.

“This is an insult to the millions of Canadians who were told by this government not to visit loved ones,” Dancho said in a statement.

“The Liberal government broke their promise to Canadians and their families abroad who have been separated for nearly a year and unable to reunite because of the slow, uncompassionate family reunification process they put in place.”

Meanwhile, Dancho noted, Spavor and Kovrig “have been denied basic human rights and detained in communist Chinese prisons for over two years, with limited access to their families and consular support.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies