Unlike the mayor of Vancouver, Jason Kenney meets Dalai Lama

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      Jason Kenney has long been Stephen Harper's secret political weapon.

      When Kenney was the prime minister's parliamentary secretary and later as citizenship and immigration minister, he relentlessly wooed new Canadians into the Conservative tent.

      Kenney has probably eaten more Asian dinners outside of Ottawa than the rest of the Harper's cabinet put together.

      And he's continuing this tradition as the minister of employment, social development, and multiculturalism.

      You can see in the photos above that it was Kenney, and not Harper, who met the Dalai Lama during his trip to Canada.

      It will help the Conservatives among some expat Tibetans as well as with apolitical types who admire the Dalai Lama's Buddhist worldview.

      Kenney's action stands in contrast to the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, who didn't have an audience with His Holiness during the Tibetan leader's visit to Vancouver this week.

      Robertson's failure to meet the Buddhist spiritual leader hasn't gone unnoticed during the election campaign.

      "He should have met the Dalai Lama today," NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe stated bluntly during an October 22 debate at Langara College. 

      Robertson's middle name is Bethune in honour of his relative Dr. Norman Bethune—a Canadian physician who is a national hero in China for providing medical support to the Communists during the civil war.

      The Chinese government views the Dalai Lama as an anti-Chinese renegade as it retains iron-fisted control over Tibet.

      When U.S. president Barack Obama met the Tibetan leader earlier this year, the Chinese government called it a "gross interference in China's politics".

      Later, the Norwegian government came under criticism for avoiding the Dalai Lama when he visited Oslo.

      The Conservatives adopted a middle path by having a senior cabinet minister meet with him.

      Former premier Gordon Campbell also met the Dalai Lama when he last visited B.C.

      Vision Vancouver's leader, on the other hand, kept his distance.

      So did Premier Christy Clark.

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter @csmithstraight.



      James Blatchford

      Oct 24, 2014 at 9:23pm

      While he does look a little like Jason Kenney with his shirt on, I'm pretty sure it's Randy from the Trailer Park Boys...the Dalai Lama won't just meet with anybody.

      so nice

      Oct 24, 2014 at 10:29pm

      ya....wouldn't want to offend the chinese government and those loyal to the big red toilet.
      think of all the lost payola and unharmonious inauspiciousness!

      Jon Humble

      Oct 25, 2014 at 8:13am

      I haven't forgotten that Robertson enforced the removal of Falun Gong supporters from outside the Chinese embassy on Granville and refused to make comment when questioned about the matter. It was noted at the time that he did however very quickly respond to the embassy's requests for the removal of these protesters (after a personal audience with a CCP embassy official . I promised him that if he did not explain himself regarding this issue I would certainly not be supporting him again when election time comes around. Clearly, not acknowledging the Dalai Lama this time around further shows his support for the corrupt regime that is communist China. I do not feel represented by this elected official. It seems business comes first for Robertson when it comes to human rights issues.


      Oct 25, 2014 at 8:40am

      But Kenny is an anomaly in federal Conservative government - he comes across as half-normal.

      Not surprised Christie Clark did not meet with the guy. But don't know enough about Robertson...maybe a family member was ill? Maybe it does have something to do with keeping China happy so they can continue systematically buying out the city.


      Oct 25, 2014 at 10:04am

      Is this the same Jason Kenney who refuses to acknowledge the human rights abuses against the Roma in eastern Europe, and has denied them refugee status in Canada? Just another part of Kenney's ethnic outreach strategy?


      Oct 25, 2014 at 1:39pm

      Hey AC, they already own the city!


      Oct 25, 2014 at 1:46pm

      No surprise the vancouver mayor was more interested money and buying Chinese garbage clothing and nice free trip to China everything paid by CCP as many politician does this day


      Oct 25, 2014 at 6:54pm

      "Robertson's failure to meet the Buddhist spiritual leader hasn't gone unnoticed during the election campaign."

      This is the first I heard of it and, as expected, it had zero affect on me. You're really hitting home runs lately Charlie.

      Such and such

      Oct 26, 2014 at 10:56am

      The lama is just a dopey goof anyways. His useless sayings are silly at best, Vancouver is a serious city now!!


      Oct 26, 2014 at 5:28pm

      mayor should have been bit practical by metting his holiness the Dalai Lama as his always talking about the better future for the British Columbian, but he's way too behind compare to vancouver school board. They already took a step ahead for the better future of this city. Mayor should take some advice from them, so that he won't be way too behind.