Canada Calls For Olympic Games Relocation
O’Toole also cited China’s questionable actions in Hong Kong, as well as the detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, for why Beijing should be scrapped from the Olympics list. The Conservative leader said Canada should not be sending athletes to a country known for committing genocidal acts against Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Both the Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games are set to take place in the Chinese capital in February next year.
Alternatives Should Be Discussed
O’Toole addressed the contentious topic at a recent press conference in Ottawa, saying that he thought most Canadians would agree with his stance that allowing China to host the 2020 Games would be tantamount to siding with a country committing genocide against large parts of its population.
He also said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should raise the importance of selecting alternative host countries capable of hosting the Games in 2022 with the International Olympic Committee. He did however stop short of lobbying Canadian athletes to boycott the 2022 Olympic events. O’Toole added that Canadian athletes should only be competing in China in 2022 in the event the country changes its conduct, or if there were no plausible alternatives in terms of host countries being willing to take over the hosting rights.
Centres Target Minority Groups
The Conservative Party leader joins a growing number of critics in Canada as well as abroad, who are all calling on countries to re-consider their participation in the upcoming Winter Games. The main bone of contention appears to be China’s policies in place in Xinjiang.
According to a damning report recently released by UN experts, around one million people have been held in prison-like establishments for the purpose of political indoctrination. The Chinese government has responded to the allegations made in the report by claiming the centres are in actual fact harmless, and for teaching job skills and training people in the art of combatting extremism.
Former detainees, however, tell an altogether different story. According to previous residents, the establishments exist mainly for targeting Islam (Muslims) and other minority languages, religions, and cultures.