Canada court punishes a WeChat user for spreading false information
A court ruling in Canada could put a stop on the freewheeling political posts in the country on WeChat, a WhatsApp-like super app popular among Chinese communities.  A Toronto construction worker, Wu Jian, was sued for defamation and ordered by the court to pay more than $38,000 after he posted a series of comments directed at a local community leader, Simon Zhong Xinsheng, in a WeChat political discussion group.  Justice Penny J. Jones of the Ontario Court of Justice said Wu’s comments on Zhong were malicious falsehoods. “The evidence before the court is that none of the defamatory statements made about Mr Zhong in the WeChat posts are true,” Jones wrote in her judgment.  WeChat has been a
Canadian university must thread needle between the US and Huawei
At the University of British Colombia, western Canada’s most prestigious university, some academics fear that connections to Huawei could put them in peril, even as the company continues to spend millions on research there. Since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, 18 new projects have been earmarked for Huawei funding at UBC, costing the company $2 million, according to a spreadsheet provided by the university. However, UBC engineering professor Lukas Chrostowski said he knew of at least three department colleagues who have refused to take part in Huawei-financed projects because they worry they will be swept up in US action against the firm. His own work in photonics – the use of
Man gets manslaughter in Vancouver after chopping victim into 108 pieces
A man who killed a Chinese millionaire before chopping him into 108 pieces has been found not guilty of the businessman’s murder, after a judge ruled that the intent to kill had not been proved. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes instead found Zhao Li, 59, guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, as well as interfering with human remains. Outside the court on Tuesday, Zhao’s lawyer Ian Donaldson praised the ruling and said his client was a “completely normal” man, whose actions on May 2, 2015, were considered “unthinkable” by those who knew him. Zhao, an experienced hunter, did not dispute having shot dead Yuan Gang, 42, with a rifle in the driveway of his Vancouver
Canada wants no US-China trade deal until detained citizens released
In what could complicate efforts to end a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the US should not strike a final deal with China until two Canadians detained in the country are released. “We’ve said that the United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians,” Trudeau said in an interview with TVA, a French-language Canadian TV network, according to the Associated Press. The Canadians, the former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, have been detained in China for more than a year, officially on national security groun
Chinese traditions are no excuse for disinheriting daughters in British Columbia
The elderly Chinese immigrant came to the office of Vancouver lawyer Trevor Todd, a long-time neighbor, with plans to write his will. He brought with him his wife of 35 years – and the intention to disinherit her and their daughter, and instead leave the entire family fortune to the couple’s adult son. “I told him ‘forget it’,” said Todd last week, of the encounter 15 years ago.  Todd’s neighbor was hardly an outlier. Lawyers say sex-based disinheritance of Asian women is common in Canada, with wives and daughters sometimes “shafted” (to use Todd’s wording) by the will of a family patriarch. But the phenomenon is now under scrutiny, thanks to a high-profile multimillion-dollar court victory
Canadian public opinion of China deteriorates sharply
Canadians’ views on China have worsened significantly in recent months, according to a new poll.  More than two-thirds of Canadians are now rejecting closer ties with Beijing. A similar proportion wants Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant, to be banned from the country’s 5G networks, according to a study by Research Co, a public opinion research company. Mario Canseco, president of Research Co, said Canadian perceptions of China had “deteriorated markedly” over the past five months and that the speed of deterioration “was really surprising.”  The poll also found increasing support for Canada’s handling of the case of Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive. Meng was arrested in Canada in December, at
Foreign ownership linked to expensive homes, study says
Vancouver has for decades attracted waves of millionaires and money from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Now a study has found long-sought evidence linking foreign ownership to extreme housing unaffordability in the Canadian city. The white paper by Josh Gordon, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University’s school of public policy, found a near-perfect 96% (or 0.96) correlation between various metro Vancouver municipalities’ price-to-income ratios – a common measure of unaffordability – and the proportion of their detached houses in which at least one owner was a non-resident. The findings: the more that a Vancouver municipality was favored by non-resident owners, the more unaffo
Hongkongers are moving to Canada due to politics
After the election of President Donald Trump, some Americans mulled moving to Canada. In Hong Kong, a city that has political issues of a different nature, people are actually doing it. According to Canadian census data, more Hongkongers are emigrating to Canada, instead of the other way around, for the first time in two decades. Canada’s Hong Kong-born population has increased by at least 8,000 for the first time since 1996. That’s just a year before Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule. Ahead of the 1997 handover, Hongkongers moved overseas in waves, fearful of possible instability at home. One of the most popular destinations was Canada, with which it shares similar British colonial roots.
The woman blurring the lines between lobbying, journalism and activism
Karen Wen Lin Woods says she has “absolutely” no relationship with the Chinese government or its diplomatic missions in Canada. Co-founder of the Canadian Chinese Political Affairs Committee (CCPAC), Woods has become a prominent commentator on China-related affairs in Canada since the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada, “[The] Huawei case has put a dark cloud shrouding the psyche of many Chinese Canadians,” she wrote in an opinion piece for The Toronto Star in December, warning of a “new wave of ‘Sino-phobia’.” But what she did not say at the time was that her employer, Solstice Public Affairs, had been hired as the lobbyist for the Chinese Consulate-General in
China accuses two Canadians of stealing its secrets
China has upped the ante over its detention of two Canadians, accusing the pair of acting together to steal state secrets just days after Ottawa decided to proceed with an extradition hearing for a Chinese tech executive. China’s arrest of the two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, had ignited indignation in the international community. The arrests of the two men coincided with the detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom firm Huawei, in December in Vancouver, and are widely seen as an act of retaliation by Beijing, despite repeated denials that this is the case by Chinese officials. Meng faces an extradition hearing on fraud charges – punishable unde