On July 26th 1999, the Canadian government became the first country in the world to publicly condemn the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. On November 9, 1999, as reported by Reuters, the Canadian government again condemned the arrest of Falun Gong practitioners and the repression by the Chinese government. Since then Canada and the Canadian government have been active in voicing concern over the persecution and treatment of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese regime since the beginning of the persecution.
Thousands of Proclamations and Congratulatory Letters Received.
Falun Gong practitioners have received thousands of congratulation letters to celebrate Falun Dafa Day/week/month from Prime Ministers, MP’s, Senators, and Mayors across Canada since 2001.
In July 2000, the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, sent a congratulatory letter to Canadian Falun Gong practitioners for the Falun Dafa week celebrations.
Ms. Clarkson stated: “The men and women who follow the precepts of the Falun Dafa Buddhist rules strive to perfect their bodies and minds. They wish to live in symbiosis with the universe and experience inner peace. The exercises and meditation they practice are more than just techniques they are learning to master: they are the means that allow them to progress and develop as people. They cultivate the will to live in peace with themselves and in harmony with the universe, thus learning compassion for others and helping to create a more open and tolerant society.”
December 2000 – January 2001, Mr. Zhang Kunlun, a Canadian citizen and professor of art, was detained while visiting his mother in China and held in a forced labor camp where he reported being beaten and shocked with electric batons. Canadian politicians intervene on his behalf, eventually winning his release to Canada.
October 24, 2002, Canadian parliament unanimously passed motion, M-236 expressing that in the opinion of the House of Commons, the Canadian Prime Minister should use the opportunity of APEC to talk with PRC head Jiang Zemin and call for the release of 13 imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners with close family ties to Canada in the interests of better trade relations between Canada and China. Twelve of them were released afterward, and among them four emigrated to Canada.
Hearings on Falun Gong in Canadian Parliament
Since 2006 The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development have held hearings on the persecution of Falun Gong, including hearings on Forced Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
“The vast widespread killing of Falun Gong practitioners for profit to provide organs for transplants is “so shocking that it represents a new form of evil on this planet”.
“…I should stress from the start that Falun Gong practitioners had no desire to become involved in politics and never intended to challenge the Communist Party. Even after nearly 14 years of persecution, their only political objective is to seek peacefully the end to their persecution across China...”
“…Many experts now believe that Falun Gong practitioners comprise the largest population of prisoners of conscience in China today, with up to 500,000 to a million practitioners being held at any given time...”
” …[Falun Gong] was initially promoted by the Government of China as beneficial to health. It grew to 70 million to 100 million practitioners by 1999, by the government’s own estimates. The Communist Party then decided to ban the practice for the following reasons. First, it’s large number of practitioners. Second, Falun Gong is not political, but it is also not Communist. Third, Falun Gong is spiritual, and the Communist Party is atheist…”
All Canadian Prime Minister’s Have Expressed Concern for the Persecuted Falun Gong.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, brought up the persecution of Falun Gong and other human rights issues in China as he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Philippines.
The Honorable Judy Sgro, Member of Parliament (MP), confirmed this at a rally on Parliament Hill on December 9th: “I am pleased that, as a Liberal Member of the Parliament, I bring greetings to you on behalf of Prime Minister Trudeau. I am also sharing with you the fact that, in the recent meeting that Prime Minister Trudeau had with Chinese leaders, the issue of human rights in China, specifically, [the persecution of] Falun Dafa was raised by Prime Minister Trudeau to the Chinese president.”
The rally was held the day before International Human Rights Day, which is observed on December 10th every year.
Stephen Harper (2006-2015): Canada will not be silent on human rights issues
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a strong supporter of Falun Gong. He established the Office of Religious Freedom within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on February 19th, 2013. In his remarks at the press conference marking the official opening of the new office, Harper specified the persecution of Falun Gong in China as one of the concerns of the Canadian government.
After her daughter Chen Yinghua was imprisoned in China in March 2014 for practising Falun Gong, Calgary resident Huang Jinling contacted Harper’s office before the Prime Minister visited China. Ms Huang later received a phone call from the Canadian Embassy in China on November 20th, 2014, informing her that the Prime Minister had raised the case of her daughter when he met with Chinese officials.
According to Ms Huang, the staff member also said the Canadian Foreign Minister had provided a list of jailed Falun Gong practitioners to Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister.
In his speech at a press conference in 2013, Harper spoke out for the many people in China who were detained for their belief, including Falun Gong practitioners. “In the face of these injustices and atrocities, Canada will not be silent.”
The Canadian public has also paid close attention to the atrocities in China. During the federal election in 2005, the persecution of Falun Gong was among the three most discussed topics, according to letters received by the prime minister’s office. Nearly one million signatures calling for an end the suppression in China were collected and forwarded to the office at that time.
Paul Martin (2003-2006): Speaking out on the importance of human rights
After former Chinese leader Hu Jintao visited Canada in September 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin said he had a thorough discussion with him on human rights, and raised the Falun Gong issue. He believed that better governance of a country needs better understanding of human rights.
When Canadian TV Station reporter Roger Smith asked Hu Jintao during a press conference on September 9th about Falun Gong practitioners who displayed photos depicting the persecution and torture, Hu Jintao sidestepped the question. But Martin replied, “Just as I mentioned in my comments, … I did raise the issue of Falun Gong.” He also said, “We believe that both economic development and better governance requires not only openness and transparency, but an understanding of the importance of human rights.”
Jean Chretien (1993-2003): Seeking the release of detained practitioners
February 11, 2001, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, raised concerns about the persecution of Falun gong directly with the then Chinese premier Zhu Rongji during the Team Canada mission to China.
Voice of America reported on October 20th, 2001, that Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien asked about the human rights situation in China, including the suppression of Falun Gong, as he met with Chinese leaders during the APEC summit in Shanghai on that day.
The Canadian Parliament unanimously passed Resolution M236 on October 24th, 2002, initiated by Member of Parliament Scott Reid. The motion requested Prime Minister Chretien to ask China to release all the Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China who are relatives of Canadian permanent residents or citizens. Twelve of them were released afterward, and among them four emigrated to Canada.