Great Canadian Debates: Canadians should be worried about getting too cozy with China

As Canada’s government moves toward free trade with China, many Canadians are raising concerns that the ambitions of the Chinese regime are contrary to Canada’s interests.

On issues of security, human rights, and the rules of global trade, there is a great divide between the two nations. Others would argue that the economic opportunity presented by deeper ties with China must be seized now, and that country’s evolution in recent years will make it an appropriate trading partner for Canada.

Who is right? Should Canadians be worried about ​getting too cozy with China?

Yea: Tony Keller, Editorial Page Editor, The Globe and Mail

Tony Keller is the Editorial Page Editor of The Globe and Mail. He joined the Globe in 1991 as an editorial writer; in a career of more than 25 years he has also been editor of The Financial Post Magazine, managing editor of Maclean’s, a columnist for the Toronto Star, an on-air essayist for TVO and a morning show news anchor on BNN. A native of Montreal, he’s a graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School. He won the National Newspaper Award for editorial writing in 2016, and was nominated on two other occasions. 

Nay: Robin Sears, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group

Robin Sears has served clients on three continents as a management, executive search and public affairs consultant for more than three decades. He was Ontario’s last Agent-General in Asia, spending six years in Tokyo as the province’s chief trade diplomat, managing a network of seven offices. 

Robin is a national political commentator, and a contributing writer to Policy Magazine, a journal of political analysis, and the Toronto Star. He serves on the Board of the Canada China Business Council, is a fellow of the Broadbent institute, has served on a variety of community boards and is past President of the Empire Club of Canada.

Moderator: Peter Milliken, Former Speaker of the House of Commons

Where: Barney Danson Theatre, Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Pl., Ottawa, ON

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