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Statement by Senator Michael L. MacDonald

Statement by Senator Michael L. MacDonald

Taiwan and Air Canada

(Friday, June 1st, 2018)

Honourable senators, I bring to your attention a matter of significant public interest – a development that jeopardizes Canada’s reputation abroad and undermines the fundamental freedoms Canadians expect us to protect and promote.

Lately communist Chinese authorities have been pressuring private companies into changing the designation for “Taiwan” to “Taipei CN”, i.e., a province of China. The list of companies that have capitulated continues to grow and now includes major Canadian firms such as RBC and Air Canada.

Being Canada’s largest international airline at home and abroad, I find this particularly alarming. Air Canada is a company recognized around the world, it carries the name of our country and the maple leaf on its fuselage and, in effect, is a de-facto carrier of Canadian values. Air Canada should strive to best reflect what our country and our people represent.

Taiwan has experienced a remarkable political and economic transition since 1949. A relatively poor, rural, and non-democratic entity for most of its existence, today it a prosperous, highly urbanized, modern and democratic society.

What has been created in Taiwan in my lifetime is something worth celebrating. Taiwan is today, an advanced society by any measurement of social progress. Whether it’s health care, education, quality of life, or economic development, Taiwan is a world leader, worthy of emulation. Much of this progress is due to the freedoms they have put to good use - economic freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the freedom to choose those who govern you - all of these freedoms have taken root in Taiwan...but none of these freedoms can be found in Communist China

The Beijing bullies have shown no hesitation in their aggressive behaviour to delegitimize Taiwanese democracy, or even to impart territorial claim in the South China Sea, in direct contravention of international law.

With that said, I believe Canadian enterprises should also expect their government to have their back when foreign powers seek to manipulate and control our businesses in such a manner. We should be prepared to call-out any third party that is actively attempting to interfere with the independent operations of Canadian businesses.

Yet the Trudeau government says nothing. Other governments and world leaders have been outspoken on this issue, so why should we not expect our government to stand up and do the same? Does Air Canada and RBC suspect they would have no public support from their government if they were to have refused China’s terms?

In a statement released by the Association of Taiwanese Organizations in Toronto, the Taiwanese-Canadian community has accused Air Canada of ignoring international law for the sake of commercial profit and has threatened to promote a boycott of the airline. Our government’s only response is to say it’s a private business matter.

The silence of Canada is unacceptable. We must stand up to regimes who seek to undermine human rights, especially in the face of profit, self-interest and in direct conflict with the right to fundamental freedoms.

On behalf of freedom-loving Canadians, I expect our government and private sector operations to do their part in defending and promoting the ideals of freedom and democracy. Taiwan is a free and democratic country, and it is essential that free and democratic countries like Canada defend Taiwan’s right to exist.

敬愛的參議員們,懇請大家注意一項重要公共利益議題 - 這項發展可能危害加拿大於海外的聲譽,且將破壞加拿大人希望我們保護及提倡的基本自由。

近來,中國共產黨施加壓力於私營公司,要求他們將台灣之名改為中華台北,等同於中國的一省。屈從公司的名單也持續增加中,包括加拿大皇家銀行 (RBC) 及加拿大航空等加拿大主要公司。

加拿大航空做為加拿大最大國籍航空,我對他們這項決定感到憂慮。加拿大航空是受到世界公認的公司,它在機身上承載著我們的國名及代表圖案 - 楓葉,它著實代表了加國的價值觀。加拿大航空應盡力反映我們國家與人民所代表的價值觀。


我此生於台灣所見證的進步是值得慶賀的。今日的台灣在社會進程中的各方面都配得上是一個先進社會。不論在衛生保健、教育、生活品質或經濟發展等項目皆引領世界,值得大家仿效。這些發展過程大多歸因於台灣良好地運作其自由 - 經濟自由、言論自由、新聞自由以及選擇管理你的人的自由,一切自由都扎根於台灣這塊土地,這項自由是在中國共產黨中是所看不到的。







Submitted by:普世
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