LILLEY: Guilbeault wants China as ally, serves as adviser to Beijing

Trudeau’s environment minister is picking fights with Canada’s premiers while advising the government of coal powered China.

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Justin Trudeau’s environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, is pulling double duty as an official adviser to the Chinese government. Turns out, he also wants to make Beijing an ally on the environmental issue and will head to coal-powered China at the end of the month after lecturing Canada’s premiers on using fossil fuels.

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During an exclusive interview Guilbeault granted to environmental activist media outlet the National Observer, he acknowledged that he’d be criticized for the trip.

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“Maybe some (political opponents) will try and attack me” for traveling to China amid tensions between the two countries, Guilbeault told the National Observer. “I am clearly a lightning rod for some of them, but I think Canadians, in general, will understand how important it is. We can’t solve climate change, you can’t solve the international biodiversity issue, without working with countries like China.”

It might be true that you can’t solve climate change without China, but this is also a country that has engaged in the kidnapping of two of our citizens, regularly engages in economic warfare with Canada and has been credibly accused of interfering in our democracy.

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Anyone would be justified in pointing out the foolishness of Guilbeault looking to find an ally in Beijing.

Guilbeault is going to a meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. It is described as a think tank but is actually a creation of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

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The ministry, part of the Communist Party of China, selects the leadership as well as “providing guidance for its operations, implementation, and daily management.” The council is tasked with conducting research and offering proposals to the Chinese government.

Guilbeault is also currently listed as Executive Vice Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the CCICED.

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He sits alongside Ding Xuexiang, who serves as the chair of the CCICED. Xuexiang is also the first vice premier of the People’s Republic of China and stands just behind Xi Jinping in the pecking order of the Communist Party of China.

There truly is no length that the Trudeau Liberals won’t go to cozy up to China. It’s one thing for diplomats to have discussions, to deal with irritants at international conferences but this is something else.

Guilbeault wants to treat a country that undermines our democracy, that intimidates and harasses Chinese-Canadians as an ally. He is a formal adviser to the government of China on the environment while also serving as Canada’s environment minister, it’s an untenable situation.

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This news comes at a time when the Trudeau government continues to drag its feet on calling a public inquiry into China’s interference in Canada. That interference goes well beyond interfering in election campaigns, it turns out they most recently conducted a disinformation campaign against Conservative MP Michael Chong in May of this year and in the past have targeted New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan.

They don’t target Liberal MPs, it seems, which might be why the Trudeau government isn’t quick to call an inquiry or why they turn a blind eye to China setting up police stations to intimidate Chinese-Canadians.

As for China’s environmental record, it’s horrible and nothing Guilbeault says or does will change that.

According to Our World in Data, run by Oxford University, China’s CO2 emissions in 2021 were 54.59 billion tonnes, up from 52.59 billion tonnes in 2020. That means China’s annual increase of 2 billion tonnes is more than all of Canada’s emissions, pegged at 777 million tonnes.

And while Guilbeault picks fights with provincial governments across Canada for generating a small and shrinking amount of electricity from coal or natural gas, China last year built roughly two coal plants per week. According to the group, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the coal power capacity of the generating stations China put under construction last year was six times that of the rest of the world.

These are Steven Guilbeault’s friends and allies. Canadians, it seems, are his enemies.

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