The city, nation and world are reeling as veteran politician, the Honourable John McCallum, has been removed as Canada’s Ambassador to China. The shock of local residents is no stretch either, as McCallum has represented the Markham-Unionville riding as Member of Parliament since 2000.
McCallum’s esteem in the Chinese minority-majority riding is one of the reasons that Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau appointed him Ambassador to China in 2017. That move backfired this week when the former expressed sympathy for Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer and heir to telecom behemeth, Huawei.
Wanzhou was arrested Dec. 1 while transferring planes in Vancouver, on charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple international institutions, stemming from the U.S. The arrest warrant was issued in the U.S. Aug. 22 based on suspicions that Wanzhou was defrauding banks under the pseudonym, Skycom.
The accusation is that Huawei is doing business with Iran, clashing with U.S. led sanctions re-imposed by President Donald Trump.
The relation between of all of this and the burgeoning city we live in is that the Chinese community is prominent here, and McCallum is one of our longest standing representatives to the country. His tenure has endured for nearly 20 years, regardless of which political party was in power, and his loss is sending a strong message.
Here are some of the formidable political positions McCallum has held, while representing the Markham-Unionville riding:
- Defence Minister (2002–2003)
- Veterans Affairs Minister (2003–2004)
- Revenue Minister (2004–2006)
- Shadow Cabinet Immigration Critic (2006–2015)
- Immigration Minister (2015–2017)
McCallum’s direct representation of Markham-Unionville ended when Trudeau appointed him Ambassador to China in 2017. Since then, the world has been buzzing about a China – U.S. trade war but the loss of McCallum is not something anybody expected.
The impact of this move on the community, which is majority Chinese, is apparent with many locals already debating his departure hotly on social media. Markham also prides itself on being the hi-tech capital of Canada and Huawei, among other giants, house a corporate headquarters here on Allstate Pkwy.
How that will extend over to local business, community and political activity is not yet apparent, if it ever does…
Click HERE to read a statement from the Prime Minister regarding McCallum’s removal from office.
(Image taken from John McCallum Twitter account).