Kamloops MP questioned for tweet considering hostage treatment for Meng Wanzhou | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops MP questioned for tweet considering hostage treatment for Meng Wanzhou

June 26, 2020 - 1:02 PM

The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP is facing backlash after retweeting and considering a statement suggesting Canada treats Meng Wanzhou as a hostage and subjects her to a form of torture.

Cathy McLeod retweeted a post that suggested Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, saying essentially that Canada should treat Meng as Canadians being held in China are treated.

"My view? Take away Meng’s bail and give her only the consular access and liberties given to our hostages. No more mansion, 24h lights and no reading glasses," the original tweet read. 

"Have to say that thought crossed my mind. I am not a lawyer but is there any barriers to this approach?" she wrote in response.

Sleep deprivation through constant lighting is seen as a form of torture, but McLeod says she's advocating for no such thing.

“I think it was just frustration in terms of the so-difficult situation that our two Michaels are facing and comparing that to someone that is living in a mansion,” McLeod says.

Wanzhou was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018 during a stopover in the Vancouver Airport. The arrest was made at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited to answer for fraud charges related to Huawei. Nine days after her arrest, two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were arrested in China and have been in custody since.

READ MORE: Prime Minister notes link between detainment of Canadians following Wanzhou arrest

Her tweet drew questions and accusations on Twitter.




When asked if she felt her statement was misconstrued by those who responded, McLeod turned the attention to the response from former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister and one-time rival for her own seat, Terry Lake.

“I think the former liberal candidate is obviously trying to score political points, I certainly wish he would show the same compassion or concern about our folks that are interned and the horrific conditions they're facing. If that doesn’t provoke any sort of emotion in him, that’s certainly his issue.”

Lake’s tweet in response to McLeods read “In other words you want Canada to act like China?”

McLeod said she received no other feedback from Lake besides the single tweet. iNFOnews.ca has reached out to Lake for comment but he did not return calls by the time of publication.

READ MORE: Attorney General states RCMP followed the law in regards to Wanzhou arrest

McLeod says she does not plan to issue a statement or apology about the tweet. However, when asked if she believes Meng should be treated in that way by the Canadian government, she disagreed.

“No, no, no, no, absolutely not. I guess the problem with Twitter is in under 140 characters you can’t be nuanced. No, she’s living in a mansion and our fellows are living in a very difficult situation and that obviously is a frustration.”

McLeod says she understands the Prime Minister’s decision not to release Meng in exchange for the freedom of Kovrig and Spavor, and recognizes the laws in Canada that would prevent the suggested treatment of Meng.

“I mean absolutely we pride ourselves in Canada as to the rule of law and that’s what the Prime Minister is doing in this case, he’s upholding an extradition treaty, the rule of law and that’s what Canada prides itself on," McLeod said. "That doesn’t mean we can’t be terribly concerned about the terribly different living conditions.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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