Poco mayor Brad West rips Union of B.C. Municipalities for allowing Chinese diplomat to host reception for politicos

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      This morning on CKNW Radio, Port Coquitlam mayor Brad West blasted an association that his city belongs to for doing business with the the Beijing government.

      The Union of B.C. Municipalities reportedly has a $6,000 sponsorship deal with China. And the organization has allowed China's consul general to host a reception at the upcoming UBCM convention for municipal politicians.

      "I just think it's completely unethical and inappropriate," West told CKNW host Mike Smyth this morning.

      In a June 12 letter to the UBCM executive, West declared that "the Government of China is engaged in a number of actions that are hostile to our country's interests and the interests of every Canadian, and are completely at odds with our values, the rule of law, and the very principles that we were all elected to uphold".

      He cited the Chinese government's arrests and detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in December.

      "This arbitrary detention means being held in a secret location without access to a lawyer and conditions that include regular interrogation and being under bright lights in a small space 24 hours a day," West alleged.

      He also mentioned the "brutal crackdown on peaceful, legitimate protests in Hong Kong" and the "internment of in excess of one million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in China in camps, who are subject to gross human rights violations, physical and psychological abuse and death".

      "The above actions have been confirmed and condemned by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, respected scholars, writers and governments from all over the world," West wrote.

      Then he asked if the UBCM would accept a financial contribution from the government of North Korea.

      "If not, what actions have they undertaken that have disqualified them that the Government of China has not?" he stated. "When the UBCM makes a decision about who they accept financial contributions from in exchange for receptions with locally elected officials, they are also making a statement about themselves."