The leader of Canada’s Official Opposition is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to push the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Games out of China.
China, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole said Tuesday, is committing genocide against the minority Uighur Muslims in the country, adding that Beijing is also imposing a police state on Hong Kong and arbitrarily detaining two Canadians in Chinese prisons.
“Canada must take a stand, but we do not need to do this alone. We should work with our closest allies,” he said.
O’Toole said Canada should not send athletes to the Beijing Games while China is committing human rights violations against part of its population, but he stopped short of suggesting Canada should boycott the Games, or step forward to host them.
But, he said, if the Olympics are not moved, a boycott could be considered.
O’Toole is the second federal party leader to speak to the matter in the past week.
The previous Saturday, 13 MPs from all five major federal parties released a letter urging the IOC to move the 2022 Games because of the treatment of the Uighurs.
Beijing has denied charges of mistreatment, saying it is running a voluntary employment and language-training program for the Uighurs.
In October, a Canadian parliamentary subcommittee issued a report that concluded that China’s treatment of the Uighurs meets the definition of genocide set out in the 1948 Genocide Convention.
That same month, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said a boycott of the 2022 Games by his country was a possibility, pointing to what he called “egregious human rights abuses” against the Uighurs.
Earlier this month, a coalition of 180 rights groups representing Tibetans, Uighurs,Inner Mongolians, Hong Kong residents and others signed an open letter calling for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Games.
With files from CBC News, The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, RCI