China continues to want to do more business with Canada. However, given that many Canadians have serious misgivings about China and the communist party, various media outlets have reported that despite Chinese offers to negotiate a free trade agreement, Canada has yet to agree to such measures.
Despite their relatively small numbers in Canada, practitioners of the Falun Gong and their supporters have been very active, even getting meetings with multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney. Parliament's Subcommittee on International Human Rights also heard from individuals on the issue of organ transplants and the treatment of Falun Gong members.
Despite these negative views on the Dalai Lama coming from a more assertive China (now reportedly the world's largest economy and our second largest trading partner) Canada has provided considerable support to the Dalai Lama and issues of concern to him.
On Friday, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada would join allies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and others in launching air strikes against ISIL in Iraq. The announcement on Friday builds on the growing engagement that Canada has recently taken part in with respect to Iraq on a variety of fronts. Against ISIL and its genocidal agenda in Iraq, it's timely that Canada has stepped up.
While protests for greater democratic rights continue in Hong Kong, some fear there could be a crackdown similar to what occurred in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Below is a list of the MPs who made reference to Tiananmen on or around June 4 during the past 15 years.
One of the important figures in the democratic movement in Hong Kong is Joseph Cardinal Zen, the retired Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong. Cardinal Zen, aged 82, attended the recent demonstrations. He told Reuters that "It's high time that we really showed that we want to be free and not to be slaves...we must unite together."
In 2010, Canada imposed the toughest sanctions in the world against the North Korean regime, banning all exports and imports (albeit, actual economic activity between Canada and North Korea was extremely limited). Exceptions exist for humanitarian goods.
The overall benefit to Canada are such that even the New Democratic Party, which has historically been opposed to free trade agreements, has announced its support for this deal that is expected to increase Canadian exports by 32% and add $1.7B to our economy.