Interests and opportunism of the Montreal business community

This is the second time in 18 months that Ambassador Kong Pyo has hosted CORIM. An opportunity seldom enjoyed by other speakers. Mr Kong does not miss an opportunity to threaten Canada with economic retaliation if the Canadian government takes action to protest human rights violations in China. We wouldn’t be surprised if he sang this chorus again on April 13th with his interlocutor, former Prime Minister Pierre Mark Johnson, Chairman of CORIM.

He protested, saying, “It is a shame.” Jay San JackThe former Canadian ambassador to China, in a statement to Journalism. There shouldn’t be a forum for this type of person. There is a difference between freedom of speech and the exercise of judgment […]. You have to ask yourself to what extent do you want to facilitate Mr. Kong’s work? “

One train can hide another. Very tangible interests loom behind CORIM’s outrageous decision to give voice to the servant of the brutally suppressing dictatorship of the Uyghurs, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, the Chinese lawyers and activists, who are being jailed under allegations of idiot Canadians Michael Coffrig and Michael Spavor. . Among the most well-known members of CORIM are companies that do very profitable business with China. It is in their interest that nothing bother them.

CORIM has been around since 1985. One of them is Missions It is “to create an environment for consultation between key stakeholders from the public and private sectors interested in international affairs.” It accepted among its “honorary members” the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, Which is pushing to participate in installing a 5G network in Canada.

Canada is part of the strategic alliance known as the “Five Eyes”, which monitors global trade over telecommunications networks, with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. he is The only member of the alliance Huawei has not banned or restricted its activities yet. Others fear that the Chinese dictatorship may use Huawei for surveillance and espionage.

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These fears are completely unfounded. Huawei developed an the system Able to send Uyghur Alerts, based on facial recognition. The aim is to alert the authorities when a member of this Muslim minority is identified by a CCTV camera in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Huawei together with its partners have developed a system capable of scanning the face to determine age, gender and ethnicity. Huawei even provided a patent For technology to identify people of Uyghur descent.

Protecting businesses before human rights

In a transcript published last October, Bernard Colas, a member of the Administrative Board From CORIM, it regrets the US adoption of sanctions against Huawei. He claims that this type of punishment ‘Bother’ Canadian Business Affairs. Pierre PeonHe is also a member of the Board of Directors of CORIM and Vice President of Bombardier, and he is also a member of the Board of Directors Canadian Chinese Business Council, Which is proud to provide its members with the “knowledge and networks” they need “to succeed in China and Canada”.

SNC-Lavalin is a senior partner of CORIM. Subordinate to it Kando Energy It has developed partnerships with China National Nuclear Power Plants in China. The Desjardins are also a major partner of CORIM. In China it split Developing markets I invested more. It has dominant titles in the Chinese company Tencent, Who owns WeChat Messaging. The Chinese government prohibits Chinese from using messaging services other than WeChat. Tencent shares content there with Chinese police, according to an investigation into police surveillance of the Uyghur minority.

Another major partner of CORIM: the Rio Tinto mining company. It is also doing big business in China. Rio Tinto It is the largest customer of the China Baowu giant, and has promised to deliver 200 million tons of iron.

The possibility of Canada banning Huawei, like its Five Eyes partners, will have major impacts on Bell Canada, Also a senior partner at CORIM. In fact, Bell has used Huawei technology for its 4G network. Huawei’s ban would force it to get rid of it, which could cost it more than $ 300 million. However, the Canadian government has not yet committed to awarding him compensation. In short, Bell has everything to fear from a Huawei ban. Last year, Bell indicated that Huawei would be itss first choice For its 5G network. One of its former executives, Scott Bradley, is Huawei’s vice president for public affairs.

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CORIM member public bodies also deal with Huawei

CORIM also counts public organizations, such as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, among its main partners. two years ago Montreal Magazine He revealed that Caisse de dépôt owns investments in $ 277 million In the Chinese high-tech companies linked to the Uyghur suppression. These companies include Hikvision, a Chinese company that has been banned by the US government at the same time as Huawei, which has a foothold in Montreal. (lately Montreal Magazine He revealed that the company is partly owned by the Minister of Economy Pierre FitzgibbonImmervision supplies Hikvision with optical components for the surveillance camera manufacturing.)

The University of Montreal is one of the “Honorary Governing Members” of CORIM along with Huawei. On March 1, Prof. Montreal Magazine Another revelation: Huawei donated $ 3.9 million In the university’s computer science department. A gift that is not trivial, says Michael Juno Katsuya, former director of the Asia-Pacific region at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. “It’s the concept of impact,” said Juno Katsuya. Huawei also donated $ 5.4 million to McGill University, which is also an elite member of CORIM.

China and Pierre Mark Johnson

Pierre Mark Johnson, who will be questioning Kong Pyo on April 13, has had longstanding ties with China. He has been there on more than one occasion while working for the law firm Heenan Blaikie. Then he has Headed Quebec part of the Canadian Mission in China 2008, at the request of Jan Charst. Then he declared: “This mission is the relationship that we will establish tomorrow with this country in a state of complete fury, which will never cease to amaze in the coming years.”

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The current law firm of Pierre Mark Johnson, Lavery, is an honorary member of CORIM. In 2017, Lavery Received In her Montreal office, a delegation of Chinese prosecutors “discusses the legal system in Canada and China”. In the same year 2017, Gao ZhichenA human rights defender who is considered by Amnesty International as China’s bravest lawyer, disappeared after being persecuted, kidnapped and sentenced to prison.

CORIM has systematically presented its platform to the Chinese Ambassadors: Chang Jonsai In 2012, Luo Zhao In 2015, Lu tea In 2018 the current ambassador Byu Hong First time in December 2019, then again on April 13th. The latter is particularly insidious and aggressive. He did repeatedly Urgent threats Canada, if sanctions are imposed to denounce the repression of Uyghurs and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. The embassy controls the Chinese consulates in Canada. One in Toronto asked students McMaster University To inform him of the presence of academics at a conference on Uyghur suppression.

In other words, the Chinese dictatorship interferes in Canada’s internal affairs, and goes so far as to monitor Canadian citizens. The Montreal business community will present a forum for one of its representatives. As Jay San Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China says, this is a complete lack of judgment. But above all, a blatant manifestation of opportunism.

Monday Interview On the subject with Genevieve Petersen on QUB Radio: “A decision strongly criticized by the Council on International Relations in Montreal.”

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