After months of debate, the decision finally fell: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed early Wednesday afternoon that Canada would not send any diplomatic representatives to the Beijing Olympics.
• Read also: The United Kingdom, in turn, announces a “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Olympics
“I don’t think that Canada and other countries’ decision not to send diplomatic representatives will come as a surprise to China,” Trudeau told reporters.
The prime minister said this diplomatic boycott is a way to make China understand that Canada and the allied countries are “deeply concerned” by the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist regime against the Uyghur minority.
The Winter Olympics will be held in February.
On the safety of Canadian athletes, Mr Trudeau emphasized that “Canada and our allies will do everything” so they can “focus on just one thing, which is to represent Canada well and win.”
- Listen to the interview with David Buffett, Professor with the Research Chair on Anti-Doping in Sport and Vice-President of the International Society of International Law at the University of Sherbrooke on QUB Radio:
Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie, who was present at the press conference, stressed that ensuring the safety of the athletes was “everything in the interest of the host country”.
The RCMP will be involved in the safety of the athletes, along with the Canadian Olympic Committee. The Minister of Sports, Pascal Saint Ong, announced that a number of police officers had already been mobilized for the trip to Beijing.
She noted that the Olympic and Paralympic Committees were “in constant discussion” with the IOC, and that “everything is in place” so that everything goes unimpeded.
- Listen to Luc Laliberté’s column on American politics
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