#JohnMcCallumFired; #Canada'sAmbassadortoChina, #NationalPolitics; GlobalPolitics, #Canada, #China, #JustinTrudeau
Ottawa, Jan 27 (Canadian-Media): Last night, Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister, had asked and accepted the resignation of John McCallum, as Canada's Ambassador to China, media reports said.
John McCallum. Image credit: Twitter handle
Trudeau had confirmed that he had delivered the news to McCallum himself, although the reason for his removal that time, which came in the middle of a diplomatic crisis with China, was not clear.
McCallum had controversially requested dropping Meng Wanzhou extraditation, which he thought be great for Canada.
He also said if the U.S. and China make a deal on Meng's case, it should include the release of the two Canadian men detained in China.
At the time Trudeau was more concerned about his government's focus on getting detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor released from China.
"This decision should have been made days ago. Instead [Trudeau has] shown weakness on this file and damaged Canada's reputation and our ability to handle this very important issue where Canadians' treatment in China is being affected by this," Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters Saturday.
"Firing someone that they could actually trust, I think we need to do some explanation to the Chinese authorities. We also need to be tough but at the same time assertive to the United States that they really need to jump in here to help us get out of the situation to secure the release of the two Canadians," Scheer said.
"I think we need to play it very delicately with the Chinese," Lynette Ong, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
In his statement, Trudeau thanked McCallum for his years of service, including his time as immigration and refugees minister.
"For almost two decades, John McCallum has served Canadians honourably and with distinction," he wrote.
"His work as minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship in bringing in over 39,500 Syrian refugees remains an inspiration to Canadians and an example to the world. I thank him and his family for his service over the past many years."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)