Three Cheers for Canada: as the World Turns

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Saturday March 26, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

A recent article in the papers indicated that Canadian MPs took more expense paid trips to Taiwan than any other country. I must say I was a bit surprised at that, but then I was more surprised to find that the next and second most popular country that Canadian MPs took expense paid trips to was Israel. There can be all sorts of speculation on the why and wherefore of such. Such trips are made to gather information and both Taiwan and Israel are trouble spots that one would want information on.

But why the three cheers in the title? Canada is one of the few countries that has refused to bow to the high pressure, deep pocket money enticements and bullying techniques of China. When Canada officially recognized Beijing back in 1970, Beijing wanted Canada to acknowledge and hopefully support Beijing's claim to Taiwan.

Canada refused. Instead they simply said that Canada "takes note" of Beijing's claim. Most other countries like the USA etc. say that they acknowledge Beijing's claim; to acknowledge does not mean that a country accepts, agrees to or supports Beijing's claim, but it comes semantically close and generally leaves confusion in the minds of the citizens of such countries.

Canada's "take note" is form of discourse that distances one from the claim. It simply means that I admit that I heard you say such, which is pretty hard to deny if someone has been shouting it to the world for such a long time. It would be like my saying that I take note that you told me that you own a mansion in California, Hawaii, or anywhere. I can admit that you told me a lot of things, but it does not mean I believe you.

Three cheers for Canada; and may their MPs keep gathering information wherever they go.