Liberal Party leader and current Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has just announced that his country intends to launch a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games scheduled to unfold in the Chinese capital of Beijing in 2022.
While Canadian athletes will be allowed to compete, no federal-level government officials will be attending the games.
This decision comes in the wake of The United States of America, The United Kingdom, and Australia announcing that they won’t be sending administrator delegation to the Games. This is all an attempt to mark the human rights abuses being perpetrated by China.
Making a Stand for Democracy
Trudeau has described the Canadian government as worried by the unceasing human rights violations that the Chinese government is responsible for. He said that Canada withholding delegates that would generally attend high-profile events like the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies is an attempt to make his country's displeasure with the communist regime visible.
In response to a question about the possible repercussions of this kind of snub, Trudeau said that he doubts whether the Chinese ruling government will be surprised by this action. He explained that discussions between Canada and her allies about withholding officials have been underway for many months.
Genocide Rampaging Unchecked
Civil Society groups, members of parliament, and senators have been advocating that Canada start holding China accountable for its clampdown on Hong Kong’s democratic rights and the disgusting way its Uyghur Muslim minority is being treated.
The House of Commons passed a motion labelling the kinds of violence being directed at the Xinjiang province religious minorities as genocidal. This followed a report by the Commons subcommittee that China is persecuting its marginalised Muslim community with concentration camps, forced labour, population control and state surveillance, trying to remove the Uyghur culture and religion from the face of the earth.
MPs also called on the federal government to put its influence to work, pressuring the International Olympic Committee to move the games out of China if this abuse continues. Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party, recently revealed that his party’s push to hold the Games elsewhere did not get anywhere with Trudeau and that a diplomatic boycott is the next best option.
As horrific as the reports of organised violence in Xinjiang are, O’Toole has said that a total boycott would be grossly unfair to Olympic and Paralympic athletes from Canada that have trained so hard for so long in preparation for the biggest sporting event in the world.