TORONTO (AP) — The leader of Canada's Conservative party accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday of being idle in the government's dispute with China.
Speaking at the final campaign debate before Oct. 21 parliamentary elections, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said Trudeau hasn't done enough.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release the daughter of the founder of tech giant Huawei. Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, was detained at Vancouver's airport Dec. 1 at the request of the U.S., which wants her extradited to face charges that she committed fraud.
Relations between China and Canada are at their lowest point since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, China has also stopped importing certain Canadian products like canola and meat.
Scheer said Trudeau "dragged his heels" in complaining to the World Trade Organization.
Trudeau's government has embarked on a campaign with allies to win the release of the detained Canadians and point out China's apparent campaign of intimidation and retribution. The U.S., Britain, the European Union and many other countries have issued statements in support of Canada
"We have activated all of our allies to put pressure on China to say no, this is not how it's done. You are not allowed to detain people arbitrarily," Trudeau said.