Green party Leader Annamie Paul comments on the government’s climate legislation during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday, November 19, 2020. Paul says Canada should support moving the 2022 Winter Olympics outside China citing a “genocidal campaign” by the state against Uighur Muslim minority. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Green party Leader Annamie Paul comments on the government’s climate legislation during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday, November 19, 2020. Paul says Canada should support moving the 2022 Winter Olympics outside China citing a “genocidal campaign” by the state against Uighur Muslim minority. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada should consider hosting 2022 Winter Olympics, says Green Leader Annamie Paul

OTTAWA — Canada should support moving the 2022 Olympics outside China over its “genocidal campaign” against the Uighur Muslim minority, says Green Leader Annamie Paul, and consider offering to play a role in hosting the global competition instead.

“If an ongoing genocide is not reason enough to relocate a sporting event, then my question is, what is?” she said during a virtual news conference Tuesday.

She urged the International Olympic Committee, along with Canada and other countries that condemn human rights violations in China, to find another venue.

She said Canada should think about offering to host the Winter Olympics, possibly with the United States, because both countries have the needed infrastructure and experience.

“This is the kind of creative solution that Canada used to be known for and can be known for again,” she said.

An open letter signed by 13 MPs, a half-dozen Quebec politicians and others Saturday called for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be moved outside China.

The letter demands the International Olympic Committee relocate the global competition to avoid having athletes “tainted” by an event legislators say would be comparable to the 1936 Berlin games under the Nazi regime, rendering it “The Games of Shame.”

Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, called on the United Nations in November to investigate whether China’s persecution of ethnic Muslim Uighurs in its Xinjiang province constitutes genocide.

A Canadian parliamentary subcommittee concluded in an October report that China’s treatment of Uighurs does amount to genocide, a characterization the country rejected as baseless.

China has been accused of using forced birth control to limit Uighur births and detention camps to indoctrinate the mostly-Muslim minority into mainstream Chinese society.

Beijing has denied any wrongdoing, saying it is running a voluntary employment and language-training program.

The letter, whose signatories include gold medallist Jean-Luc Brassard and former Liberal cabinet minister Irwin Cotler, follows a call from some 180 human rights groups to boycott the Beijing games, slated to kick off on Feb. 4, 2022.

The statement clarifies it is calling for relocation rather than a boycott.

“We are not asking our athletes to give up their Olympic dream, because we know full well how much effort will have gone into pursuing it,” it says.

Paul said the federal government can ultimately decide whether Canada’s athletes will take part in any Olympics.

“China has proven itself to be incredibly resistant to liberalization of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Paul said.

“There is no reason to credibly believe that the celebration of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, alongside a genocide, will produce any such results.”

She said Canada should speak out very strongly and condemn China’s human rights violations.

Canada should also convene with its allies in order to consider all of the options to get the Chinese government and other states committing human rights violations back into compliance with international law.

“It can involve anything from quiet diplomacy, all the way to sanctions and everything in between,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell is hoping to pick up where he left off last season as the 2020-21 WHL season kicks off Friday in Red Deer against the Medicine Hat Tigers. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels set to host Tigers in WHL season opener

24-game WHL Alberta only season kicks off night Friday at the Centrium

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Most Read