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Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney speaks with media at the French Embassy in Ottawa on Dec. 6, 2016.


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Mulroney on China

Re Canada-China Relations Need ‘Urgent Rethink, Mulroney says (July 1): Kudos to former prime minister Brian Mulroney for his counsel on “immediate and urgent rethink” of relations with China. A blue-ribbon panel of experts to reshape our relations with China is an absolute bull’s-eye. Canada should do this forthwith.

Arzina Maherali Toronto

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Urgent rethink? On June 6, 2020, Brian Mulroney was advocating for the Trudeau government to send Jean Chrétien to China, as an informal representative of Canada, to negotiate the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. In a surprising about-face, he now strongly suggests that Canada rethink its whole economic ties with China, including the thorny issue of the 5G technology implementation by Huawei. Mr. Mulroney says that when he suggested Mr. Chrétien, he did not expect him to call for a prisoner swap.

What was there to negotiate then? Did Mr. Mulroney really think that in view of its recent actions, the Chinese authorities would accept anything less than the immediate discontinuance of Meng Wanzhou’s extradition proceedings? He has too much experience in international relations to be so naive.

I am happy that Mr. Mulroney is joining the growing ranks of realists that no longer have illusions about China’s intentions. We must indeed rethink and reshape the commercial relation that binds us to China, but that is not enough.

Our Prime Minister must use his bully pulpit and his credibility in these matters, and wage an unwavering ideological battle with China by using every source of influence at his disposal, including the UN, the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth and most significantly, NATO.

Max Pridmore Laval, Que.

It’s rare that I find myself agreeing with past Conservative leaders, or present ones for that matter, but Brian Mulroney is quite right. For far too long, Canada and other Western countries have sold principle for profit when dealing with China. The result is the China we see today, a rogue state that’s cruel and racist domestically and unrestrained by law or morality internationally. Indeed, a rethink of relations is overdue.

John McLeod Toronto

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I’ve grown to appreciate that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not make decisions like this quickly. I think he would be wise to consult with Joe Biden in November after the U.S. election, regarding Meng Wanzhou, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and Huawei 5G. The China-U.S. relationship is also in a shambles. Maybe when it comes to trade with China, North American countries would be stronger working together to present a united front to China.

Alison Dennis Kingston

Mulroney on Canada

Re Mulroney Calls For Bold Action On Immigration, Indigenous Affairs In Post-COVID-19 World (June 30): It is something of a shock, but I find myself in complete agreement with Brian Mulroney on an issue: the need to study and implement recommendations from the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. As noted in the article, the key recommendations have not been adopted. Indeed, the report was largely ignored.

Of major importance, the report contained detailed recommendations to improve the lives of all Indigenous peoples including additional government expenditures for the next 20 years, explaining that, in the long run, it would be a good investment and result in significantly lower expenditures over time. If politicians had only paid the commissioners proper respect, the report might by now have closed the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians with benefits for all. It is still not too late to make the fundamental changes recommended.

Jim Reynolds Vancouver

Over the past few months during the COVID-19 crisis, the Liberal government has handed out millions of dollars, some of it has been worthwhile and others questionable. I have heard very little from the opposition parties. At present we seem to have an authoritarian government, one voice which is Justin Trudeau.

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One of the only Conservative voices I have recently heard is Brian Mulroney’s. The Conservative Party should step forward and comment on Mr. Mulroney’s Agenda for Canadian Greatness, in which he called for increased immigration, national productivity enhancement, relaxing interprovincial trade restrictions and improving the Indigenous situation by starting to implement some of the recommendations from the Erasmus-Dussault Royal Commission.

I am tired of just hearing Mr. Trudeau’s voice. Would the opposition parties step forward and be heard?

Jacquie Hayter Calgary

Whither Conservative leadership

Re Conservative Party Rule Seems Impossible Right Now (July 2): As a member of the Green Party, I find it frustrating how much ink is used to compare the Liberals and Conservatives. There are alternatives to Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I’m still waiting for equal time for the Greens.

Conservatives continue moving in the direction of the far right. That should be of deep concern for every liberal Canadian. Conservatives have lost the spirit of moderate former Progressive Conservatives such as Bill Davis, Joe Clark and Hugh Segal. The prospect of a Conservative government is frightening.

Reiner Jaakson Oakville, Ont.

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An explanation, please

Re Champagne’s Bank Of China Mortgages Need More Explanation (Report on Business, June 29): Rita Trichur is quite correct in highlighting the odious behavior of François-Philippe Champagne and Justin Trudeau. The Prime Minister should have insisted that Mr. Champagne rid himself of the conflict (perceived or real) before accepting the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Champagne should have gladly done so, even if the Prime Minister had not asked for the sake of preserving his own integrity. I’d like to think that if Parliament was close to fully operational, the Opposition would have forced greater disclosure. But, alas, perhaps that is one of the reasons that Mr. Trudeau hasn’t wanted a close to normal Parliament.

It now raises questions. Did Mr. Trudeau insist Mr. Champagne leave the room because of his conflict whenever China, Meng Wanzhou or Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were discussed in cabinet? Did Mr. Champagne voluntarily leave the room? Mr. Champagne owes us an explanation as to the terms of his mortgages from the Bank of China and the name of the lender and terms for his new mortgages.

It is scenarios such as these that make the public cynical about politics and politicians.

T.B.K. Martin Toronto

On Cathal Kelly’s team

Re NBA’s Plans Will Make Life Weirder For Sportswriters (June 29): Why would a seventysomething woman with absolutely no interest in organized sports regularly check out your sports page? The answer is brief and simple: Cathal Kelly, a jewel of a writer.

Alexandra Shea Montreal

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