Send a Christmas Message to Our HOSTAGES in China …

Covid will no doubt cast a shadow over Christmas and New Year celebrations across Canada … and the world.

But at least WE can celebrate; WE can still enjoy enjoy the company of family and friends, in person, on Zoom or by phone; and, we are free!

Not so for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

The two Canadian businessmen will spend their THIRD Christmas/New Year in prison jail cells after being taken HOSTAGE by China just over two years ago.

They were arrested in China just nine days after Canada detained Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wenzhou on an arrest warrant issued by the United States.

While her appeals against extradition are winding their way through Canada’s courts, Meng lives in her $14 million mansion in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy area.

Kovrig and Spavor are being held by China in third-world, horrid prison conditions … without any charges having been filed against them in Court, even under their farcical, highly politicized justice system.

Their arbitrary detention is showing the whole WORLD the aggressive, cruel side of China under Xi Jinping … China’s “president-for life” (a position he and cronies maneuvered/intimidated the Peoples’ Congress in 2018 to adopt, usurping the country’s Constitution to seize one-man dictatorial power).

A beautiful land is now showing the world its ugly reality under the Chinese Communist Party: a nation where oppression, fear and aggression have become a key instrument of public policy, internally and internationally under Xi.

Kovrig and Spavor and Canada are not the only victims of China’s bullying and intimidation: Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Brunei, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar and Tibet have ALL faced attempts by China to push them around, grab more territory both on land and by expanding its maritime borders. (,%2C%20Mongolia%2C%20Myanmar%20and%20Tibet. )

And Australia has been especially targeted by Xi’s regime with trade embargos, political internal interference, faked internet info/propaganda, persistent verbal attacks and all kinds of other actions/harassment … because, despite economic threats, Australia has had the backbone to speak up/stand up to Xi and China’s descent into dictatorship and human rights destruction internally and its increasing external aggression and encroachments : ( ).

But the Aussies have not backed down. Advance Australia Fair!!

The WORLD has to understand that today’s China is NOT a partner, a friend or neighbour worth even a handshake. (Especially in light of growing evidence Chinese authorities failed to warn the World Health Organization about the Coronavirus as early as they should have or take steps to prevent the spread internationally … making China responsible now for millions suffering and dying around the world.) and destroying the livelihoods/life savings of hundreds of millions of innocent people.

We should ALL take a stand: don’t buy products from China when there are alternatives; speak out against China’s aggression wherever you can; and, SUPPORT Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

With that in mind, thousands upon thousands of Canadians have taken on a Special Christmas project: sending Christmas Cards to our HOSTAGES … the two Michaels … via the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa!

Let’s do it!

I sent the following note, along with a Christmas card, to China’s Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, a few days ago:

“Please forward the enclosed Christmas card to the two Canadian hostages being held by China — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. Thank you, and a very Merry Christmas!”

Inside the card, I penned:

“Canadians miss you! But we have not forgotten you!

“We know you are innocent hostages being held by China. You are martyrs for freedom and the rule of law. Stay Strong!”

Harv Oberfeld

(Please also send a card to SUPPORT Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor! The address: c/o Ambassador Cong Peiwu, Embassy of China, 515 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, On. K1N 5H3.

It will REALLY feel good, having done that! Try it! 🙂 )

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30 Responses to Send a Christmas Message to Our HOSTAGES in China …

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    China is not our friend or partner, they are competition, if not something even more dangerous. China is a dictatorship, run by a cadre of very powerful bureaucrats and has reverted back to having an emperor, though it is polite not to say so.

    All the billionaires in China are the royal family of the Emperor as the state allows them to be billionaires and they have become the state.

    Communism is a dated term for dictators and dictatorship as it has become the Americanization of those who the USA hates.

    China has had 5,000 years to hone its political skills and Canada is no match, ye our politicians seem to think so.

    Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are mere pawns in the game of power, as Canada has imprisoned (well not really) a member of the “Royal House” and the Emperor has taken umbrage.

    The Americans are using Canada to do their work, they are afraid to do and sit back and watch.

    Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are political hostages, in a game Canada does not know how to play and it is time to play hardball, like the Australians.

    Any politician taking a freebee to go to China (listening school boards) should be deemed treasonous (harsh I know); we should dilute the ties with China and treat them with respect and at a distance.

    Also, stop the practice of Chinese students, coming to learn in our schools and universities and instead, educate Canadians.

    Canada and it politicians should start restricting Chinese goods and Chinese access and let the Emperor and his retinue know that in the real world, the rule of law, international law must not be flouted.

    Hard, damn hard but it is time this free ride ends and treat China as a dictatorship, a very vile dictatorship.

    (Response: China hates to lose face … so it’s a good thing if we SHOUT LOUD AND CLEAR and generate news coverage worldwide about how they are holding our Canadian businessmen hostage. The Christmas card campaign directed at the Ambassador asking he pass it on to the two Michaels IS getting attention …so I hope everyone will take the time to send a card. It’s the least we can do this Christmas. Just imagine if it was one of our own family being held there in terrible conditions. h.o)

  2. 13 says:

    This topic depresses the hell out of me. I see no upside no end that will ever occur unless
    powers beyond our boarders intercede on Canadas behalf.
    Didnt Xi already label our PM ” small potato” . Nothing wrong with a campaign to write Christmas Cards but sanctions, seizing assets, expelling diplomats, seizing container ships, banning travelers, ontop of everything DM Johnson suggested would be more appropriate. Perhaps move the Huawei executive to Kent Mountain institution. Small potato is a compliment.

    (Response: I thought about the idea of detaining Meng is custody … but that would lower Canada to China’s base level of civility and corrupted justice. Here, people are entitled to bail or house arrest unless the Court believes they would flee before the outcome of the case … and it should not matter whether “home” is an apartment or a mansion. Meanwhile, in some ways Canada is a smaller country compared to China in terms of economy or population … BUT in terms of a civil society, where human and legal rights are respected, and in terms of world regard … we are a GIANT compared to the pathetic reputation China has among nations. I hope you send a Christmas card to the ambassador and ask him to forward it to our hostages …one day, they will learn about it! h.o)

  3. Gilbert says:

    I was surprised to learn the Canadian government was considering winter training with Chinese troops last Christmas. It was cancelled because of pressure from President Trump. Will Joe Biden stand up to the CCP? We’ll see.

    (Response: How stupid can Trudeau/federal government have been! Here’s the story: Canada and other Western democracies have to realize China today, under Xi, is NOT the China that we shook hands with from the 1970s to 1990s and hoped for a new era of co-operation and partnership. China under Xi has become our enemy, much as we regret and hate to admit it: they are seizing land and sea territory in SEVERAL arenas; they broke/destroyed their signed international agreement concerning Hong Kong; they try regularly to hack Western government and industrial websites; they spy and steal our proprietary technology; they trample human rights; and, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are living proof they don’t respect the rule of law. We really should have as little to do with them even after the two Michaels are liberated. h.o)

  4. 13 says:

    Gilbert, I believe the answer to your question would be a ‘not likely”

  5. Richard Skelly says:

    I don’t normally compliment Ezra Levant but kudos him for unearthing emails showing Chief Of Defence Staff John Vance faced rebukes from Trudeau government officials when—reacting to the imprisonment of the Two Michaels—he decisively cancelled planned joint military drills on Canadian soil between our forces and some from China. Top bureaucrats chided him for threatening broader Canada-China relations by reacting to the Xi government’s treatment of “the consular cases”. The bastards, er, Ottawa bureaucrats couldn’t even bring themselves to refer to the hostages by their names.

    I’m still in the dark as to when these joint military exercises began. Some commenters lay the blame on the Harper government ratifying the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) in 2014. But I have a hard time believing such a business-oriented deal would have included joint military exercises. Or that China-skeptic then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have committed Canada to any deal involving such military cooperation.

    Which makes me suspect the Trudeau government expanded the interpretation of FIPA to allow for joint military exercises.

    (Response: Trudeau’s concerns about “broader Canada-China relations” as you put it is hurting our case in having Canada speak out and ACT much more forcefully against China, including restricting its access/development/investment … for security reasons … to the Canadian communications and technology sector. And we MUST do this not just because China took the two Michaels hostage, but for our long term security and safety: to protect Canada, we MUST stop expanding our links of every kind with China, even if there is an economic cost. We can survive that, expanding other markets, and also protect our own security and defend ourselves from growing Chinese aggression. h.o.)

  6. RIsaak says:

    Great idea Harvey.

    The fifth column of the PRC is firmly entrenched in Canada. They flourish in our post secondary schools, they have infiltrated many shipping/transportation businesses (right BMCQ?), they appear in photo-ops with our politicians and no doubt have memberships in our political parties, with those cards tucked neatly behind their Communist party of China ones.

    The current lack of political resolve to hold Xi (self appointed leader for life) to account shown by many of our elected officials is troubling. The expansionist goals are very evident, the suppression of citizens based on an ancestry & religion is real, just as the resolve to ignore us is.

    (Response: It’s very clear: Xi believes Western democracies are so financially dependent on China they can now be pushed around. Australia right now is suffering now the way Canada did a couple of years ago with fictitious “health”-related import bans on their products: barley, wine, meat, dairy and lumber ..and most recently, even coal. And unfortunately, there are many other countries willing to fill in the gap and supply them all .. so standing up on principle is very, very difficult. But if we all cave …then China’s aggression will just get worse: we MUST learn from history that we must restrict imports from China ..and, most importantly, in NO WAY allow China to supply, invest or control ANYTHING in our communications or technology sector! And Canadians should do everything we can to expose and embarrass Xi and China over the hostage taking of the two Michaels: a simple Christmas card addressed to the Chinese ambassador in Ottawa will go a long way, literally, in this regard! h.o.)

  7. BMCQ says:

    This is a really thoughtful and insightful Blog Post and analysis Harvey, it should make us all appreciate what we have in Canada and the free world but for how long ?

    Some great posts already as well .

    I travel a lot and over the years I have been to Asia many many times and contrary to what some might believe many of those countries in Asia like many others like El Salvador, others in Central America, many in Africa and the Middle East are indeed “Sh* t Holes” . Facts are facts and we cannot honestly attempt to spin our way out of them .

    Years ago when I was quite young I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in Hong Kong, a dear friend of my father who was in finance was Chinese and born in Hong Kong eventually settling in Dunbar in Vancouver . Funny enough he was a member of the Stanley Park LBC .

    He took me under his wing and took me to Hong Kong, between his connections and my own affiliations at places like the Hong Kong Football Club the Kowloon Cricket Club, and many other places I once had well over 300 friends in Hong Kong, three of them including the Chief Justice, another Justice, and the highest ranking Chinese Police Officer on the HK Police Force, there was a glass ceiling back in the late 80’s to almost 2000, just after the change . I also spent a lot of time in Macau during the same period, absolutely incredible what I experienced .

    Those mentioned and two criminal lawyers and the owner of a club called the Volvo club taught me a lot and exposed me to a lot and the memories are still fresh today, they were all unique people with incredible life experience .

    Early on during my first trip to HK my then new friend on the HKPD and a group of his uniformed officers took me on my first trip to the Wall City of Kowloon for an extensive tour . the WCKL was a very dangerous place and before we entered he told me two things, “Bobby, breathe through your nose only” as it was open sewer and then he said, “Never come back here without me or you will never get out”, that told me a lot, He took me through once more time in I think 1991 – 92, a few years before the 1997 “Handover” of HK to China, part of the deal was China wanted this done as it was part of the treaty .

    Just about the first thing I learned from my friends early on in my travels to HK was that China and many Chinese Nationals could not be trusted, they also told me on my first trip to HK that China could never resist to keep their hands off HK until the agreed 50 year period of transition, they said China would do everything they could to take control and have a great influence on Hong Kong and eventually change the system by some force, whatever they could get away with . We see that very thing today . Unfortunately China was able to do a lot of their dirty work under the cover of Covid as the world media were not paying attention to the rapid disappearance of Protest Freedom Fighter Leaders in HK, what a tragedy, most will never been seen again, they will eventually end up as parts for Medical Tourism and Soylent Green . Dirty Bastards !

    Once i became familiar with what China intended to do in the future I made up my mind on that first trip to never visit mainland China, they can keep their tourism, I never unless it is impossible purchase anything that originates in China and I will never visit there, period . Promised myself from the get go as they say .

    As RIsaak points out China and it’s Blood Thirsty Leadership are involved in almost everything in countries all over the world, and they will stop at nothing to do everything they can to rule the world, first economically and then by ruling various nations even if it is by proxy through influence with corrupted democratically elected governments, Hello Eric Swalwell, Sock Puppet Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, PM Justin of Canada, and many scattered in countries from Iran, to Italy, to Africa, to south America and really anywhere else they can infiltrate .

    China and the CPC are now everywhere and they will do everything and anything they can to get everything you have, just who do Canadians have fighting for them against the China War Machine ? Yes, it is a War Machine, make no mistake .

    (Edited… for length and off topic. h.o)

    In the case of the two Michaels, it is bad enough to be in prison even if it is deserved but to literally kidnap two fully innocent Canadian Nationals like the Chinese did it in the case of the two Michaels, makes me sick and it makes me wonder why the Canadian Prime Minister does not address the UN General Assembly about this heinous act, it is time for the world to hear and see what China is doing all over the globe, time to stand up and fight back against China .

    If enough nations fight back it can work .

    Country after country needs to c all china out for their misdeeds, some of course will say “Oh no, that would be taking chances, that would be too brazen, and oh no, China might get upset, guess what what we have been doing so far has not worked, time for all free world nations to hold China accountable and time for all free world citizens to whenever possible “Boycott” the purchase of any and all goods that come from China unless it is absolutely necessary .

    (Edited…off topic ..which is Canada/two Michaels. h.o)

    And just what do you think Canadian PM Justin will do about that ?

    I for one and hopefully my family will gladly and happily send he Xmas/Holiday Card to the Two Michaels, that my friends will be much more than uh Canadian PM Justin sees fit do uh do .

    Reprehensible and Despicable .

    And please do not come back at me with ” We do not want to be hasty, China may get tough” what do you think they are doin g now .

    Boycott China !!

    (Response: You are absolutely correct when you say the world should call China out for its actions. The problem is too many fear China’s economic power and being cut off exports to the country. Look at the price Australia is paying for standing up to Xi and China’s expansionist bullying tactics. But we MUST do it …we have no other choice: take them on now TOGETHER or face even greater conflict and costs by standing up to China’s aggression later. h.o)

  8. BMCQ says:

    China is not our friend
    China is a “Clear and Present Danger”
    China is our enemy

    The sooner we understand that the better .

    Then think about this, why is NO One talking about holding China to account for the Covid 19 Virus, hell people on this very blog wilt and protest if someone calls it the “China or Wuhan Virus” what the hell would you call it if it came from Sweden or Belgium ?

    We in Free World Nations need to quit being so Politically Correct, we need to stand up and tell people how we feel, our politicians need to hear from all of us .

  9. DBW says:

    Christmas season Harvey. Two positive posts in a row.

    Writing Christmas cards to Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig is a good idea, not because it will necessary do any good in the short term (they may not even see the cards) but it may make China think twice before they do something like this in the future although that is doubtful as well. But it took me less time to write the cards than it did to read some of the responses here and certainly less time than typing this, so why not?

    Before writing this, I finished another chapter in Humankind (the book I mentioned in your last blog) and I would like to toss out a thought, especially given something BMCQ said.

    The chapter was on empathy. The author was pointing out the limits of empathy because our empathy generally is directed at people closest to us. It is easy for us to identify with Spavor and Kovrig while we can conveniently ignore the thousands of people worldwide perhaps even in Canada who are also unjustly imprisoned. How many Christmas cards can I send out? The author also mentioned an experience of George Orwell in the Spanish Civil War when Orwell saw an enemy soldier running from his hideout trying, with both hands, to keep his pants up. Orwell didn’t shoot because “I had come to shoot at Fascists but a man holding up his trousers isn’t a fascist; he is visibly a fellow creature.”

    The author goes on to say that the more we identify with victims the more we generalize about our enemies. Now I am not suggesting in the least that China is our friend. They are not and that feeling is not limited to Canada.

    But as bad as we think China is we must focus on their policies not their people. BMCQ call it the Xi Jinping virus if you must but please give up the “China virus” for the sake of the vast vast vast majority of Chinese citizens and especially those of Chinese descent in Canada, who are nothing more than our fellow creatures.

    And Harvey not every post of yours need be a feel good story but despite fewer comments,they likely do as much good as the ones where we rant at each other.

    (Response: You are almost correct when you write sending thousands of Christmas cards to the two Michaels is a good idea “not because it will necessary do any good in the short term (they may not even see the cards) but it may make China think twice before they do something like this in the future although that is doubtful as well.” Saving face is a very important part of Chinese culture …and there can be no doubt authorities back in China have become very well aware of the thousands of Christmas cards arriving at their embassy in Ottawa … and all the attention the action is getting. So don’t be surprised if they soon allow greater access or even family phone calls etc … “in the spirit of the season” or something, never admitting of course they are feeling the heat! I can tell everyone it REALLY felt great to send off that Christmas card to the Ambassador … to speak up for our two Michaels. Here’s the address again of Ambassador Cong Peiwu: Embassy of China, 515 St Patrick Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5H3. I urge everyone to do it!! h.o)

  10. BMCQ says:

    I do not recall personally calling the virus the Chinese or Wuhan Virus on this blog (but I am 100% certain you will find it if I have) or anywhere else but as I did up the page I have no problem acknowledging where it originated. None of us in the rest of the world should ever forget that something was amiss in Wuhan China and the world needs answers and the world needs restitution . I think it is more than most important that people who have lost loved ones, have been sick themselves or are going to experience the long term affects of C – 19 never forget where the virus came from . Nor should any nation that has seen it’s citizens die, become health compromised, lose businesses, jobs, experience a collapsed or seriously compromised economy do anything less than demand complete transparency and in fact receive restitution from China .

    It is now more important than ever for world nations to demand China be held accountable and in fact a complete boycott of Chinese manufactured product or a personal trade embargo’s wherever possible until China provides compensation by any means possible, they can begin by forgiving debt . Of course we have no choice but to purchase certain China product but we avoid Chinese whenever possible .

    It is almost too late but all nations similar Tom Canada need to enact a sort of Foreign Investment Review Agency like Marc Lalonde once did to monitor, restrict and perhaps even prohibit Chinese Nationals and Corps investing in any given country, we need to play hard ball . Do you think that might help the “Two Michaels” and other “Hostages“ get an opportunity at freedom ? China understands nothing better than the “Big Stick” and now is the time to strike, we need world unity .

    The UN will never attempt to take China to task, free world nations must take this on as a unified body, the only thing China understands is what they do to everyone else, strong armed tactics, as discussed Australia, Taiwan, NZ, Japan, India, those other world nations with interests in the South China Sea, the EU, UK, the U.S., and so many more Perhaps even one day Canada can act together and demand satisfaction from China and action must be taken now before it is too late .

    All of those nations listed and dozens more have nationals being held by China just like the “Two Michaels, what better time to demand satisfaction than now when we can all be unified in our struggle with/against China ?

    Have you not noticed how the C – 19 affects some of us with different ethnic backgrounds more than others, how some recover quicker ? Perhaps YOU and others should give that some thought, just how much of an accident was C – 19 ? Not the release so much but the chemistry of the virus itself .

    I find your argument about offending Chinese Canadians or putting them under threat unacceptable, Chinese Nationals that reside in Canada or Chinese Canadians are safer in Canada or any nation like Canada than they are in China or Hong Kong, just ask any one of them . Why the hell do you think so many want to reside in the U.S. which is their first choice, Canada, Australia, or any other given free nation ?

    I grew up just off of Main St. In Vancouver and attended Van Horne Elementary with many Chinese Canadian kids who are still my friends today, none of them I know are afraid to criticize China and believe it or not they have no problem connecting C – 19 to CHINA, WTF ! As Joe Biden might say, “Come on Man” !! Those same Chinese Canadians and others I know well also hate the CPC and everything they represent and they are are also appalled about the fact that the “Two Michaels” remain in a Chinese Prison .

    China needs to feel pressure to stop their Human Rights abuses in their own country, China needs to provide restitution to affected nations for C – 19, China needs to release thousands of Hostages and prisoners including the “Two Michaels”, and China needs to understand the world as a whole have had enough and we will no longer tolerate their bully tactics .

    I will be sending a few Xmas Cards to the Ambassador tomorrow, I do not necessarily it will create any change but I do not feel it is right to call for political action of countries against China if I am not willing to send the cards, that would not be right .

    (Response: Thanks for joining the Canada-wide Christmas card campaign: I have no doubt the Chinese embassy in Ottawa is not amused. Great!! Be assured it all gets reported back to Beijing. As for Chinese people, here or abroad, we must be very careful to differentiate between the people and the government. The Chinese government under Xi is oppressing, obstructing and intimidating more Chinese people inside and outside its own borders than any other peoples. Some of my greatest HEROES these days are Jimmy Lai, Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow … and the thousands who support them in fighting for basic democratic principles in Hong Kong. We should have no quarrel with the Chinese people at all. However, if the Chinese government has agents here committing illegal acts or oppressing anyone who stands up for freedom and democracy, it is the DUTY of Canadian authorities to reign them in. h.o)

  11. 13 says:

    @DBW. I disagree . Calling it the Chinese virus is accurate . The people that find that unfair to Chinese Canadians are either blinded by sjwpc ideals or not smart enough to separate their Canadian Chinese neighbors from the Chinese communist government.
    Every time we allow the pcsjw ideals we hurt the TWO MICHEALS we play into the hands of the CPC. Sadly for any headway to be made against a self appointed leader for life Canada and its allies will need to move beyond the idealism and play hardball.
    Boycotting everything Chinese will hurt workers in China. If we dont hurt China at every opportunity the aggression will continue to hurt democracies world wide.

    (Response: Of course, China will retaliate against countries that try to stand up against their aggression. But we MUST stand together … or they will just keep increasing their bullying and stranglehold on our economy … and thus our people. Glad to see today that Australia has taken China to the World Trade Organization over its arbitrary and crippling tariffs on barley. Canada and other democratic countries should support Australia any way we can. h.o)

  12. BMCQ says:

    13 – post and Harvey response

    Excellent, both of you ! Really well thought out and for sure the right path to follow . I truly really like the line about some of us not being able to separate our Canadian Chinese neighbours from the Chinese Communist Government, wish I would have stated that myself !

    As has already been pointed out china has attacked or assaulted many countries and their people, time to stand united and fight back .

    We the free world need to find leadership and we will not get it from PM Justin or poor Joe Biden, who will stand up to China ?

    I am convinced and sure if world nations stood tall together we could hold China accountable .

    Every world nation can start by forgiving themselves their Foreign Debt owed to China, what would they do, attack all of us ?

    Japan could prove to be key here, it is important that Japan, India, Australia, Taiwan, and others in the region most affected take up the challenge .

    Let’s never forget it is not just Canada that has nationals of their own imprisoned on basically “Fake” charges, there are literally thousands of others like them imprisoned and subjected to abuses, torture, and more, I am quite sure all of those nations would step up and challenge china if they saw others joining them as one . Again, can we expect Leadership from uh Canadian PM Justin, Joe Biden, “No Joke” ?,necessary%E2%80%94China%E2%80%99s%20Prison%20Law%20does%20not%20mention%20foreign%20prisoners.

    Not even to mention ethnic and religious minorities imprisoned, abused, used as slaves, used for body parts, and what ever else the Chinese could think of, “Soylent Green” ?

    (Edited …off topic. h.o)

    World Nations need to somehow stand together and against China, it is not just for the
    “Two Michaels” it is for all of those imprisoned in the China Gulags .

    It would be nice to hear more on this from ALL Canadian Politicians from all three levels and of course it would be more important to hear more from the ruling party, Federal Liberal Politicians, then we should desperately hope to hear more on the “Two Michaels” from ALL Media, it is the job of media to hold politicians accountable and ask the tough questions, correct Harvey ?

    (Edited…off topic of the two Michaels at Christmas. h.o)

    Keep in mind that China and Chinese Nations will take full advantage of weakened world economies, weakened business’s, attractions like Disneyland, Sports Teams, other national icons of any nation and China and Chinese Nationals along with Chinese Corporations will be on a buying spree literally vacuuming up anything of value, anything they can profit off of .

    Unless we stand together China will take it all and then once they have that wait until you see the next moves of your Chinese Masters .

    (Edited…off topic. h.o)

  13. HARRY LAWSON says:


    I disagree with respect , i would rather see cards sent to first responders, they took Lisa in while giving her a cardiac massage . things are not good , kudos to Mission Fire the ambulance service and the rcmp forget china.

    (Response: Sorry, Harry. However it is possible for all of us to do both: care about our own loved ones; yet not ignore the plight of others as well, like the two Michaels, held in China’s prison system for two years now. h.o)

  14. DBW says:

    BMCQ, I can’t remember if I commented or if I was going to comment, but I noticed last spring that you didn’t ever call covid 19 the “China Virus” although you have consistently defended its use by others and wondered why it would upset people. Curious.

    Harvey has pointed out the Christmas card campaign and encouraged us to participate. I decided I would. And somebody might ask why bother? My cynical side said that the letters may not even be forwarded, that the Chinese government would ignore them and nothing would change. So yeh. Why bother? Well, what are the negatives to participating. Not counting the five minutes of time, two unused cards from years past, and a couple of stamps ZERO negatives. And the positives? At least the ambassador will know and maybe pass on that information. Maybe Xi will have a change of heart. Maybe if Spavor and Kovrig receive our messages, it will give them some sense of hope. So why not. There are no down sides.

    Now what are the positives of using “China virus”. Seriously, what gain? The negatives on the other hand. Sadly, there are people who are “not smart enough to separate their Canadian Chinese neighbors from the Chinese communist government”. That’s why we get multiple articles like this one.
    So why bother?

    Harry, I cannot think of anything to say that will give you any relief. I can only wish Lisa and you the very best. Your gratefulness for the first responders is a good reminder to all of us to be thankful for the help and kindness that we receive from all sorts of people. It never hurts to show our appreciation.

    (Response: We should never under-estimate the importance to China of public image and losing face. They have clearly lost face with many nations recently, including trust and interest in partnering beyond the bare essentials. China’s aggressions (and its clampdowns and cruelty to its own people) will no doubt hurt it much harder in the long run than its victims. Xi, like so many dictators and authoritarian style leaders, is too egotistical, narcissistic or even stupid to realize that. Or maybe he will start to realize that, so keeping up the pressure over the two Michaels WILL yield results. h.o.)

  15. 13 says:

    The positives from reminding people where the covid 19 virus came from
    To understand clearly
    Why someone you loved and cared for has died.
    Why people have lost jobs
    Why health care has been turned upside down
    Why we are being inoculated by rushed vaccines
    Why our taxes on everything will go up. Why our standard of living will go down
    Why we have lost our personal freedoms
    This list could go on forever, but suffice to say the Virus originated in CHINA . The CHINESE government lied about the virus and allowed its people to spread it world wide. We need people to understand why we NEED to try and make CHINA pay for the damages.

    (Response: The evidence was quite clear: China could have done more to contain Covid …but did not. For example there are reports that, although they locked Wuhan down, cut it off from domestic travel, they allowed international travel/flights to continue… unleashing Covid on the world! Again, probably did not want to lose face or direct attention on its low levels of health protection and food safety controls. The result unleashed Covid on the world, ruining hundreds of millions of lives, jobs, destroying entire economies and killing 1.65 MILLION (so far). And even in the midst of such embarrassment and shame, the Chinese government cruelly hangs on to two innocent Canadian HOSTAGES in China’s dismal prison system because a single Huawei executive got arrested to face extradition on charges … in an entirely legal proceeding … and is being allowed to live in her $13 million mansion, while awaiting Court proceedings to conclude. Disgraceful government …and yes, it MUST be made to pay for its uncivilized behaviours … and all the damage they have done to the world! h.o)

  16. HARRY LAWSON says:


    lets keep t real , the reality is a card will not sway the chinese,

    as a taxpayer i had to make a choice health care or groceries, i chose health care for lisa and ended in a food bank line up with a bunch of people in my situation, like really. and you want to send xmas cards send the cost of a stamp and card to the food bank instead . just had mission fire ambulance and rcmp here this morning , they looked after lisa . i was told by a neighbour , the first responders are affecting her house sale like really

    (Response: Our hearts go out to you with your own and Lisa’s health issues. However, re the China Christmas card campaign, I believe it DOES accomplish something. China is a country that places an extraordinary emphasis on reputation and saving face. Just Google the topic and see how many stories etc are being done on this ..clearly embarrassing China. To do/say NOTHING would encourage them to do this again, take more hostages, putting pressure only on their victims’ families and other countries. The two Michaels deserve care and attention too .. not abandonment, especially at Christmas. h.o)

  17. BMCQ says:


    (edited…off topic. )

    I cannot recall myself calling the C – 19 the Chinese or Wuhan Virus but may have, fact is as 13, Harvey, BMCQ and a few others have pointed out the virus has origins in China and those origins cause, and release may be told to us within the next few months .

    Pay very careful to what Harvey said about China allowing Chinese Nationals from Wuhan and other regions of China to travel world while cutting them off from travel to Beijing and other strategically important cities in China, can any one with greater than room temperature IQ honestly dispute or defend that action ?

    Also keep in mind that when the “Bad Orange” Man cancelled China flights entering the USA Chinese Nationals then flew to London, Paris, Italy, and even Iran then to New York, to avoid scrutiny, they all knew what they were doing, they were spreading the wealth of the virus . And Joe Biden called Trump Racist and Xenophobic, “Come On Man” !

    Then of course London, Paris, Tehran, Italy, New York City and many others became C – 19 “Hot Spots” . You may recall months ago that I stated the one reason we in Canada and B.C. were spared the initial wave was because hardly any tourists coming from China to Vancouver, winter is winter here . Same for MSY, tourists travelled from NYC, other infected areas to Bourbon St and Mardis Gras, I do a lot of business in New Orleans and I can honestly testify that if it was not for MG and Bourbon St. they would see NO tourists .

    13’s last post was absolutely brilliant and there an be no argument with what he presents, Canadians had better pay attention, we need restitution and we need it now .

    Harvey’s response was better than excellent, everyone across Canada, media, politicians, Canada, media, and politicians should read what 13 and Harvey pointed out, we cannot afford to not do everything we can by joining in with other wronged world nations and demanding satisfaction .

    Again China and MANY of it’s Nationals living in free world nations want everything you have, right from “Rare Earths” right down to your grandmothers Gold Crowns, they will not rest until they get it and they do not care who they hurt or kill to get what they want .

    Politicians in Canada, the USA and many other counrtries have been hoodwinked, compromised, and in fact criminalized by Chinese Honey Pots and other measures, time to out all of them now, media need to expose everything they can about politicians that have been compromised, we deserve better .

    (Edited…off topic. h.o)

    IMHO the cards to the “Two Michaels” are more than likely symbolic at best, the Chinese Ambassador and china do not give a FIG but at least word might get to both of through their families and that is important .

    Nothing we do in the way of Xmas cards will any influence whatsoever on thee evil Chinese empire .

    Keep those cards and letters rolling in folks, I somehow the families will get the message through and it will at least help them feel better .

    what do you uh think the chances are of Canadian PM and SJW Justin speaking out forcefully on uh this anytime uh soon ?

    (Response: The Kovrig-Spavor Christmas card campaign has become much more than symbolic. The cards, emails etc are [pouring into the Chinese embassy and consulates by the thousands!! Do they care? You bet they do …and that’s not just me saying that from my limited knowledge f China and their culture, read what a Canadian who was held there in prison for 19 months says: Clearly much better than just doing nothing! In fact, the Sun article even gives the address of the prisons in China where our hostages are being held: people can even send cards to them there!! And they just might get them …or at least, will hopefully hear about it. h.o)

  18. BMCQ says:


    God Bless you and your Good Wife, I hope things improve .

  19. hawgwash says:

    This misdirected effort should be diverted to Jason Kenny, who wants to put a lump of coal in Xi Jinping’s panty hose with a new Alberta albatross.
    I think whore is a fitting word here.

    (Response: This is an example of why China’s Xi believes he/they can do whatever they want: countries, provinces and corporations willing to look the other way for cash. h.o)

  20. DBW says:

    This might be your best post yet Harvey. In an oddly informative way.

    In my first response I mentioned the limits of empathy. The person we should feel the most empathy with is Harry. But what can we do beyond “best wishes”. However, I am glad he is posting because it makes us realize that we may be in “the same storm but not the same boat”. And maybe we should keep that in mind when covid is over and we are highlighting other societal concerns.

    The specific topic of Harvey’s post is a Christmas card campaign for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. (btw I don’t like the “two Michaels” as it denies them their own identity but that’s just me and words. Carry on using it if you wish.)

    Harvey said it would make us feel good writing them. It didn’t. It made me feel sad because while writing my couple of sentences I had to think about what they and their families were going through. Empathy. But I did it anyway in the off chance that my cards may be the tipping point.

    Nobody here (myself included believe it or not) thinks China is guilt free of a whole host of things, including their initial covid response. Canada’s relations with China cannot and should not remain the same. But we have to wonder what exactly can we do.

    I appreciate Harvey for pointing out a way to do something positive.

    But reading venomous attacks deserved or not does no good at all. If China ignores thousands of Christmas cards they sure as hell aren’t listening to anybody here.
    And I don’t think that stigmatizing neighbours is helpful. Suggesting that when people hear “China virus” they are smart enough to distinguish between their Canadian Chinese neighbours and the Communist government of China but too stupid to remember where it came from without screaming “China virus!” makes no sense.

    But you know what is worse. I AM REACTING TO THIS! I have become infected. I need a vaccine and it ain’t for covid.

    Harry again, I hope all the best for you and Lisa. The other day I was reimbursed $120 for an overpayment on new tires. I will think of you when I donate it to our local food bank.

    (Response: You don’t know the government of China when you write “If China ignores thousands of Christmas cards they sure as hell aren’t listening to anybody here.” To the contrary, China (like many other countries) has a massive monitoring machine that gathers and records information from all over the world. And they also have many agents right here … yes, in Vancouver, and I’m not just talking about the staff at their consulate, trade and visa offices they operate right here. I can assure you they know about my writings on this blog and those in other media as well about China, Hong Kong, human rights, Uighurs … to the point I would not feel safe ever visiting China or Hong Kong again (it’s really a beautiful country … but I don’t want to live there!) . So you can be sure China’s officials ARE very aware and very sensitive to the Christmas card campaign … and how it IS hurting China’s image and I’m sure they are feeling the heat. Watch! h.o)

  21. DBW says:

    Sorry Harvey, I wasn’t referring to your comments, especially about the Christmas card campaign. I was referring to this.

    “IMHO the cards to the “Two Michaels” are more than likely symbolic at best, the Chinese Ambassador and china do not give a FIG…Nothing we do in the way of Xmas cards will have any influence whatsoever on the evil Chinese empire.”

    I was wondering just how much of a FIG the Chinese ambassador or the evil Chinese empire gives about that person’s other comments. We can act like a bull in a China shop (lame pun intended) and scream at Justin ..uh.. Trudeau all we want but sometimes even people like me will start to tune out. At this point, a quiet Christmas card campaign is probably a better bet.

    Of course I am taking this way too seriously. I will check in again when I get the vaccine.

  22. 13 says:

    My card went out today. Also addressed the two men by their full names. I resisted adding any insults to the Chinese diplomat tucked away on Patrick St in Ottawa.
    I did however note inside the card for Mr Piewu to urge his leader to do the right thing.
    At least this topic has allowed me to feel slightly (ever so slightly) less depressed than I did at the top of the page. Harvey is right , doing something did help me feel better.
    I guess watching the news night after night , seeing bodies being stored in reefer trailers , hearing that healthcare workers ( in Alberta} are talking strike on Christmas Eve , seeing babies born with covid and the woman that was in a coma after giving birth Harvey reminding us that over 1 million people have dieg due to the Chinese Virus, wondering how many people will miss seeing family this Christmas and wont be around for the next one has jaded my ability to show empathy

    (Response: No need to insult the ambassador to make our point: WE CARE about our HOSTAGES. Peiwu is just a pawn in furthering Xi’s aggressive policies. But rest assured, Canadians’ response …and anger towards China IS being noted. And hopefully, sales of Chinese products in Canada will also be impacted: I now read the labels. h.o)

  23. KM says:

    I hope you will post this for me as these are my thoughts on China and what they will think about the Xmas cards.

    I learnt in Elementary School that you have to stand up to a bully and not turn the other cheek, so i have to disagree with your be nice attitude. They will see that as being weak if they give in.

    (Edited…off topic …not a mention of the two Michaels at all. h.o)

    (Response: Agree …we must stand up to the bullying China: in the end, China NEEDS the very vast Western markets more than we need them for our exports. h.o)

  24. BMCQ says:

    China needs to be called out just like India, Australia, the USA, Taiwan, many EU Nations and the UK has called them out .

    The only china understands is the big stick and a push back along with damage to their economy through boycotts or any other means .

    I am sorry but it is long past time to be polite and it has nothing to do with a “Bul in a china shop”, no pun intended .

    I ahve been speaking out about China for years and since about 2015 on this blog, you can play “Patty cake” as much and as long as you like but China “Do Not Give a FIG”, China is laughing at people like YOU .

    I urge you to re read the post just up the page from 13 and the response from Harvey, they say it all, I do not understand why this is so difficult .

    I also urge you to read one or both of the books attached . Each of thee books provide great insight as to what takes place in China, how they operate in any given world nation, how they spy, how they steal Intellectual Properties, technical expertise of other kinds, and how they enslave and torture their own people to achieve what they want . You certainly can choose to turn a blind eye, take the Neville Chamberlain approach, or you can simply choose to do nothing until they come for you and yours. Somehow I believe you might choose a combination of the chamberlain approach and wait for them to take everything you and yours have, including freedom .
    Either you did not read my comments correctly or you misinterpreted them .

    I was trying to say IMHO I do not believe the CPC, the Ambassador or any other Chinese Official cares about the cards and it does not matter a “Fig” to them .

    I did also however say I would be sending the cards because the families would be able to tell the “Two Michaels” what Canadians had done . I still stand by my comments that the CPC do not care and will not be pressured into taking any positive action, they might react of the Huawei Exec Meng Wanzhou, then we could see something take place . Again I still believe any and all Canadians should send X Mas cards, whether I am correct or whether Harvey is correct we will never really know, one opinion as opposed to another, well, well, well .

    Do any of you think a few cards will register with the CPC when the whole world other than the “Bad Orange Man” literally ignores the atrocities carried out by the CPC each and every day ? “Come On Man” !! Joe Biden knows, “No Joke” .

    (Edited… off topic. h.o)

    You may not recall but I was the first to say I would ensure several cards went to the “Two Michaels” through the Chinese Ambassador who is more than likely breaking bread with the Canadian PM tonight, masks between bites of course .

    This topic, the argument, and the discussion have caused me to think a lot about the “Two Michaels” and Harry and his Wife, I am now nightly saying prayers for all of them, I hope that works, do not know if it will but I feel a little better, funny thing though I am getting angry, can’t have that can we ?

    Then to top all of this off we can now NO LONGER call the “Two Michaels” the “Two Michaels” Really ? Are you serious ? Michaels” Really ? “Come On Man” !!

    “Shirley You Jest” . Surely you cannot be serious?

    You say, “Using the term Two Michaels denies them their own identity” .

    May be you are correct, after all you are quick to point out I know absolutely but I am going to guess the following .

    The highest percentage of the Canadian public knows the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels”, think about that .

    I bet even the media and politicians across this country refer to the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels” I think I am correct on that .

    I am also going to speculate that the Chinese Ambassador and every one of his staff somehow refer to the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels”, and futher more I am going to go out even further on that shaky branch and guess that ALL of the cPC, their Henchmen and Women, and their Illustrious Lead Xi ALL refer to the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels” !!!

    IMHO the label “Two Michaels” is a term of endearment used by almost all Canadians when referring to the “Two Michaels”, I am sure they and their families appreciate the thoughts and I am sure the “Two Michaels” themselves enjoy being called the “Two Michaels” .

    But then what the Hell do I know .

  25. 13 says:

    “At some time people like me will start to tune out” Perhaps those that have lost a parent a job or are dealing with a disease thats unrelated to covid but due covid and the lockdowns they will not enjoy the post covid Christmas get togethers.
    This Chinese virus has impacted everyone. Even those that deny its existence are spending time and effort trying to explain it away.
    This post ties two Canadians that are rotting in CHINESE prison , a CHINESE executive “rotting” in her Shaughnessy mansion. The CHINESE virus is a CONSTANT reminder to the entire world not to tune out.
    Those that come out of this Chinese pandemic untouched will be few and far between

  26. DBW says:

    I am one sick puppy. Might need a double dose of the “reacting too much on KIR” vaccine.

    I made the simple statement that I preferred using Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig rather than the “two Michaels”. I have taught twins. Whenever I see the parent I don’t ask “how are the twins?” I ask for each of them by name. No big deal. Twenty years from now the “two Michaels” may be remembered but Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig will likely get “who are they” looks. What would we be calling them if they weren’t both named Michael? The two imprisoned guys? Again no big deal. You can call them what you want. Not really the point of this post.

    Except. Look at the response to my comment. There is as much outrage at my parenthetical comment as there is directed at the imprisonment of Spavor and Kovrig or the “China virus” and all the other sins of the Chinese government. If someone is that outraged at my “two Michaels” comment how can I take them seriously about their outrage at China. So I will tune them out.

    Which gets us back to your post Harvey. I said that it might be one of your better ones Look at your own skewering of Chinese policies. Measured and nuanced (unlike say your hyperbolic criticism of the Parks Board but I digress). But I am listening and nodding. I am not tuning out.

    And on top of that you are asking us to do something. Something not hard. May or may not work but it can’t hurt. And even if it doesn’t work, it may get us used to actually doing something rather than just yelling.

    Like this morning. I read about a local family struggling with medical problems. I didn’t know the family but I thought of Harry and donated. I then told my wife. Turns out she taught one of the kids so she donated. Without Harry there is a good chance I don’t donate nor tell my wife. Think of that Harvey. Your blog and Harry’s comment had a positive effect on a family that you don’t know exists.

    My donation is no big deal. We do what we can. And maybe we don’t do what we can. I am not forgetting where covid 19 originated. I am not giving China a free pass. But if not using “China virus” saves one of my Chinese neighbours an unwarranted racially based attack, then I’m good using covid 19.

    That’s it. Merry Christmas.

    (Response: It’s very important that we all differentiate between China as a state/government/Communist dictatorship and the Chinese people, either overseas or right here. My criticism and disgust is solely directed at China, the entity, and its leaders, supporters and agents who support, defend and/or advance the states’ aggressions, cruelties and breaches of international accords, mores and basic human rights. And we ALL should stand up for justice and freedom … even if it’s a simple gesture like sending a Christmas card to the two Michaels in care of Chinese Ambassador in Ottawa and asking him to forward it to them. Merry Christmas! h.o)

  27. Rainclouds says:

    If Possible make sure the card is Winnie the Poo, its outlawed on the internet in China. Li Ping is a tad annoyed at the resemblance apparently. Thin Skinned would be an understatement. Presumably he wouldn’t appreciate being incarcerated for years on trumped up charges. The rule of law means nothing to him.

  28. hawgwash says:

    The two Michaels debate:

    The best, by far, out take from this blog was this line by DBW: “Twenty years from now the “two Michaels” may be remembered but Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig will likely get “who are they” looks. What would we be calling them if they weren’t both named Michael? The two imprisoned guys?”

    And the shallowest, by BMCQ: “Then to top all of this off we can now NO LONGER call the “Two Michaels” the “Two Michaels” Really ? Are you serious ? Michaels” Really ? “Come On Man” !!
    Shirley You Jest . Surely you cannot be serious?”

    Who then rambles on with: “The highest percentage of the Canadian public knows the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels”, think about that . I bet even the media and politicians across this country refer to the “Two Michaels” as the “Two Michaels” I think I am correct on that.”

    The reason the “highest percentage of the Canadian public” use the impersonal “two Michaels” is BECAUSE the “media and politicians” bombard us with it.

    A case study, right here in this blog:
    Total number of “two Michaels” 53; 18 by the blog owner HO and 29 by the surrogate owner BMCQ.
    Total number of “Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor” 22; 5 by HO and 0 my BMCQ.

    Yes, I am solidly behind DBW in his quest to show respect for these two unfortunate individuals (just two of the many Canadians illegally detained abroad).

    Whenever I see a name tag on a service worker, I use it. If it is an odd name, I ask for proper pronunciation. It personalizes the encounter and always results in a change of body language for the better. They are saying, without words; “thank you for humanizing me.”

    (Edited…off topic. h.o)

    Lastly, my thoughts go out to Harry and Lisa. Following the lead of DBW and in anticipation of receiving the unneeded $500 BC Recovery Benefit, I have donated said $500 to our local food bank.

    (Edited… ignorant low class vulgar content. You are no longer welcome on this blog until you SINCERELY apologize to all. h.o)

  29. ELMCQ says:


    I happen to be married to BMCQ, please forgive me for defending my husband but Bob is not a shallow person, he is anything but, as a matter of fact he is a very generous person and a person of good character.

    Please read the attached headline.

    As you can very easily see the headline refers to the Two Michaels, it then goes on to provide their proper given names, most of media do refer to them as the Two Michaels, perhaps a fact checker like DBW could research and confirm that.

    Please explain how referring to the Two Michaels is not showing respect . You may notice that Harvey referred to the Two Michaels in his response to DBW regarding the names of the two Michaels, please reference that, I would also note that DBW did not come back at Harvey for that .

    (Apologies…had not looked at the ignorant, low class vulgar content hogwash slipped in: I believe it says more about the contributor than anyone else. Now deleted…contributor suspended from the blog until SINCERELY apologizes for offensive content. h.o)

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  30. BMCQ says:

    We spoke to several friends and family over the weekend and we have firm commitments from all of them that they will forward cards to the Chinese Embassy .

    We were actually on a Holiday Season Zoom call with about 16 friends and relatives Saturday night and many were aware about the card campaign and they also said they would send Christmas Cards to the Two Michaels through the Chinese Ambassador .

    I believe the attached may be of interest to most here .


    As I have noted on a few previous occasions on Keeping It Real, there are a few times I pushed send before I should have and a few times I wished I was able to get that post back but once that post is gone it is gone . Fortunately none of those few times were offensive, I was just a little overzealous so I was not dressed down for it, just deleted .

    (Edited… Enough said. If Hawgwash (or anyone) wants to be vulgar, not welcome in my “living room” discussions, which is how I view my blog. h.o)

    Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year !

    I salute the Two Michaels and their Families !!

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