Tuesday, April 21, 2020

LILLEY: Trudeau government funding China but not like some think

LILLEY: Trudeau government funding China but not like some think

Dr. Xiaochun (Chris) Le, of Edmonton’s University of Alberta.Supplied
Did Canada really give almost $1 million to a lab in China, the very lab that some suspect may be the source of COVID-19? No, not even close, although some would have you think that.
What did happen is that a researcher at the University of Alberta was awarded a $828,000 grant from the federal government as part of a $26.8 million fund to try and find vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.
It’s true that the lead researcher on this project, Dr. Xiaochun (Chris) Le, will be working in conjunction with a researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but as Le told my colleague, Joe Warmington, the other day, “the collaboration with the researcher in Wuhan is limited to knowledge sharing only.” Hmmm.
It’s true that Le studied at Wuhan University but quietly has been in Canada studying, researching and teaching since 1990 and his work is currently supported by the University of Alberta, Carleton, Laval, and the University of Ottawa.
It’s Le who is getting the research grant, hmmm, not a lab in Wuhan.
Not that the Canadian government doesn’t have a history of funding questionable projects in China including sending tens of millions every year in foreign aid.
Just about two years ago, the Trudeau government put $256 million from Canadian taxpayers into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. That money has essentially been handed over to a bank controlled by Beijing to develop projects that would have trouble getting built in Canada under this government, including ring roads and power plants.
Why we would ever hand over that much money to the AIIB when the people who run it have been playing economic warfare against Canada for years — canola, beef, pork, soybeans were all products blocked by China – is a mystery. It’s even more of a mystery that we remain a part of it after the regime in Beijing decided to kidnap two of our citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
Not that bad decisions about taxpayer dollars flowing to China is purely something for the Trudeau Liberals.
I remember hearing the Conservatives complain about the government headed by Paul Martin sending foreign aid money to China. Yet, under former prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, foreign aid to China continued to flow.
Every time I questioned any government about it, I was told that we were doing important work improving China’s legal system and training judges. That would be the legal system and the judges currently helping with the kidnapping of the two Michaels and their illegal detention for more than a year.
Last year, we gave $41 million in foreign aid grants to China, a country with an economy that dwarfs ours and that goes around the world doling out its own foreign aid to buy off countries in distress.
Don’t expect that to change under the Trudeau government.

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