Today, readers are responding to statements made by John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China. On Wednesday, Mr. McCallum told reporters Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has a good chance of persuading a Canadian court to reject a request for her extradition to the United States. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have said the Canadian government will not interfere politically in the Meng legal case and that it should be left to the judicial system.
McCallum should be removed from his post immediately. This is shocking overreach by a political appointee on a matter before the courts. He has just undermined the Canadian government's position and the trust of the people of Canada. - res ipsa loquitor
In response to res ipsa loquitor:
No, he hasn’t undermined the position of the Government of Canada. It was, however, inappropriate for him to have said anything about the case in public. - Old Banister
In response to Old Banister:
The position of the government was that this is a legal, not a political matter, so I do believe McCallum has undermined this position. His comments on Meng’s strong arguments, made at a press conference in his role as Canada’s Ambassador to China, suggest that the matter has been politicized.
Before today, I would have thought that if the court decision goes against Meng, the Attorney General would exercise his discretion consistent with the court’s decision and she would be extradited. I am now in some doubt, particularly since the PM did not denounce McCallum’s comments or remove him from his position. Before this story came out, I thought the government was doing a good job in standing up to China’s bullying actions and raising international concerns. - - res ipsa loquitor
Time for this guy to move on, to retirement. It is not the job of a diplomat to make comments such as this. - Jeet09
Ultimately, the Minister speaking out does not result in telling Meng something she doesn’t already know because as a billionaire, one must assume, Meng already has access to the best legal representation money can buy. McCallum should not have interfered. Doing so, provides the appearance of political interference in the criminal justice process which is supposed to be apolitical. -MK199
Wow. Just wow. How and when is it prudent for an ambassador to make claims on how the Canadian judicial system will rule? It’s probably best that McCallum be kept on a short leash. It’s better to be silent and thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Paggs
In response to Paggs:
It is his job to figure ways to smooth things over. I think he has. He is not interfering with the judicial process-he is just stating an obvious fact. - Jeff_Calgary
McCallum has completely undermined our government’s credibility when it comes to the independence of Canada's judiciary. - Uncle Fester
This will obviously be perceived in China as a successful development justifying their strong arm strategy. This is very sad for Canada and will lead other countries to emulate China’s approach when confronted with disputes. It’s a big mistake not to stand up to the bully. - kidcanuck1
Completely inappropriate comments by McCallum. I have to wonder if this is some sort of orchestration by the liberal party to set public expectations for the extradition. It’s almost like they want to deny extradition and are just looking for an excuse to do so. - Steve2014
We can see that despite the bravado coming from Ottawa, the Trudeau government is subservient to the Chinese. You can see it in McCallum’s words and Justin’s actions approving the various sales of Canadian companies despite CSIS warnings and those from other countries. One must seriously ask why this government is acting this way, have they been compromised and can they be trusted? - Jack Bauer
Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter.
For the first time McCallum is making sense. So I suspect he has been coached by someone of intelligence. The Liberals were terribly naive to allow this situation in the first place. Thank goodness October is coming. - 12345Bill
There is just no explanation for why McCallum would make such a response other than to cater to the vote in his own riding. The most worrisome issue is that he had no concern that this story would go international and undermine the effort the government has put forward in its diplomacy to gather allies to speak out against the communist government's hostage taking of two Canadians. What he has done is to equate the arrest of Meng with the arrest and detention of the Canadians in China which makes Canada look like a pawn of American politics.
In making such comments, McCallum has now caused as much damage as Trump when he suggested Meng could be used as a tool in a trade deal between China and the US. I am not aware of an incident in Canadian political history when a government official has gone public and undermined their own government during an international crisis. It has yet to be determined whether McCallum did this carelessly or deliberately, and whether this sentiment is more widespread in the Liberal Party. Either way, it is grounds for the government to refute his claims and to dismiss McCallum from his sensitive portfolio, or ignore what he did and look weak. - moon howler
In response to moon howler:
McCallum simply outlined the legal challenges to Meng’s extradition request and clarified for Canadians the complexities of this case. He also (intentionally or not) indirectly helped the Canadians detained in China by showing Beijing that Canada is a fair country that respects the rule of law. Kudos to Mr. McCallum. - JohnD1
When our sports heroes play on past when they should have retired, there is a feeling of sadness, and a desire to turn away from the screen, so you don't have to watch a once great in decline. McCallum was no sports hero and he was no great politician, and so we watch and listen and feel no sadness as a politician now an ambassador, stumbles and falls, and no one seems ready to tell him to quit. - JeffSpooner
What else readers are discussing today:
Great news - in other words, don't bubble wrap you children, let them experience life. - Mandelbrot
Why are people so excited about this? It's like they discovered something new. Anyone over 60 could have told them this. - whataworld
Now the next step is to tell parents to let their children go out and play and get dirty. No need to purell their lives and make them sensitive to everyday items. - superdaves
From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.