Hong Kong’s Imperilled Freedoms and their Impact on Canada

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is proud to host Hong Kong Democratic Party founder Martin Lee for a talk and panel discussion in Ottawa on May 7. Mr. Lee, who is known as “the Father of Democracy” in Hong Kong, has a message for Canadian leaders about the urgent need to defend the human rights of everyone in Hong Kong, including Canadians.

The issue:

On the handover of Hong Kong by the UK to China in 1997, Beijing promised to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms and the rule of law. There would be “one country,” but “two systems.” Instead China has over time sought increasingly to weaken and undermine Hong Kong’s prized institutions.

Canadians know too well that the Chinese regime has no respect for the rule of law, with the recent imprisonment of two innocent Canadians and death sentences on drug charges for two more being just the most recent examples.

The sentencing this month of nine leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democratic Umbrella Movement shows that Beijing’s grip is tightening over Hong Kong’s free society, including the judiciary. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is about to put in place measures that critics fear would allow for the arrest and rendition to China of anyone in Hong Kong, whether living there, working, vacationing or just passing through, including Canadians. The passing of this amendment to Hong Kong’s extradition law seriously threatens the security of Hong Kong people, and the more than 300,000 Canadians residing and doing business there.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have been protesting in the streets. Ten Canadian and American organizations issued a joint statement on April 6 expressing their deep concern about the extradition proposal. On April 13 in Toronto, eight Canadian multicultural community organizations and representatives from three professional sectors spoke at a rally in front of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office calling for the Canadian government to speak up on this issue.


Mr. Lee is leading a diverse delegation to Toronto, Ottawa, New York, and Washington, DC. The delegation also includes Hong Kong Journalists Association leader Mak Yin-Ting, youth democracy leader Nathan Law, and trade union leader and long-time legislator Lee Cheuk Yan. Members of the delegation will take part in a panel discussion following Mr. Lee’s remarks.

Event Details:

  • Location: The Music Room, Kildare House, 323 Chapel St., Ottawa
  • Date: May 7, 2019
  • Time: Registration at 9:30 am; event begins at 10 am and concludes at 12 pm


  • Welcome by MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley
  • Remarks by Martin Lee, Hong Kong Democratic Party founder
  • Panel:
    • Mak Yin-Ting, Hong Kong Journalists Association
    • Lee Cheuk Yan, labour leader and former legislator
    • Nathan Law, youth democracy leader
    • Gloria Fung, Canada-Hong Kong Link
    • Rupak Chattopadhyay, Forum of the Federations (moderator)

We would like to thank the Epoch Times for their generous media sponsorship!


Is the venue close to public transit?

Yes, the following bus routes come close to the venue:

  • Bus 19 – Stop located at Laurier & Chapel (1 minute walk)
  • Bus 16 – Stop located at Chapel & Somerset (4 minute walk)
  • Bus 7 – Stop located at Rideau & Friel (9 minute walk)

 What are my parking options?

We have obtained a special occasion parking permit from the City, which will enable overtime parking (where parking is permitted) in select areas near the venue. Details will be sent via email to registered attendees on May 6th.

Free street parking is also available for up to 3 hours on the following streets nearby (please note the time limits posted):

  • Wilbrod St
  • Nelson St (near Laurier)
  • Goulbourn Ave
  • Malborough Ave
  • Osgood St (near Goulbourn Ave)
  • Mann Ave. (between Russell and King Edward Ave.)

Paid parking is available nearby at the following locations:

  • Loblaws Rideau ($9.00 per day, 10 minute walk)
  • University of Ottawa Brooks Garage ($17.00 per day, 12 minute walk)
  • Rideau Centre ($20.00 per day, 15 minute walk).

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Allison at allison.carrigan@mli.dev.pcomms.ca.

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