Canada’s Ambassador to China Dominic Barton waits to appear before the House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations in Ottawa, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well, and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada’s Ambassador to China Dominic Barton waits to appear before the House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations in Ottawa, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well, and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Kovrig, Spavor are ‘inspiring’ and ‘robust’ in Chinese prison, says Canada’s envoy

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested and imprisoned on Dec. 10, 2018

Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic.

Dominic Barton says Chinese authorities were completely paranoid about COVID-19 as they denied consular access to the two men from January to November.

Barton is leading Canada’s efforts in China to win the release of Kovrig and Spavor, who were arrested and imprisoned on Dec. 10, 2018, in what is widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou.

After months of delay, Barton was granted on-site virtual consular access to Kovrig and Spavor in November, following similar virtual visits with the two Canadians a month earlier.

Barton offered the update in testimony Thursday night before the House of Commons special committee on Canada-China relations.

He also described the three-day Chinese government-controlled visit to Tibet that he and nine other Western diplomats undertook in October, saying he remains concerned about the human rights situation there and that they only saw what the Chinese wanted them to see.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

county
County of Stettler council meeting highlights for Jan. 13th

County council chambers will be getting some audio-visual upgrades

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)
Town of Stettler launches redesigned website

The new website increases user functionality and offers additional features

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

Most Read