July 21st, 2024

Canada ‘will be there’ to help two Michaels after their detention in China: Trudeau

By The Canadian Press on March 7, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing back on the notion that Canada's willingness to help two men who were detained in China is an acknowledgement they engaged in espionage on Ottawa's behalf. Michael Spavor, centre left, and Michael Kovrig, centre left, receive a standing ovation in the House of Commons prior to U.S. President Joe Biden's address of Parliament, in Ottawa, Friday, March 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing back on the notion that Canada’s willingness to help two citizens who were detained in China is an acknowledgement they engaged in espionage on Ottawa’s behalf.

Trudeau says the federal government will be there to help Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor rebuild their lives after they were arbitrarily imprisoned in China for three years.

At a press conference today, Trudeau said Canada has supported Kovrig and Spavor from the beginning because China chose to use them as pawns in geopolitical games.

Trudeau’s comments came a day after a lawyer for Spavor indicated his client had reached a settlement with the federal government over his detention in China.

John Phillips said in an email that the matter between Spavor and the government had been “resolved.”

Trudeau declined to say today whether Ottawa had provided compensation to Kovrig, citing a need for confidentiality.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024.

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