Perhaps a new line of work more compatible with being able to sleep at night would be a good idea.
We often hear the phrase, “how do you sleep at night,” often in reference to someone who we feel should perhaps be a bit sheepish about their actions or line of work.
And that may be a fair question to ask of Huawei Canada vice-president Morgan Elliott.
In an interview with Mercedes Stephenson of Global News, Elliott condemned the arrest of Meng Wanzhou (who is living comfortably in her mansion in Vancouver), while refusing to condemn the arbitrary detention of Michael Kovrig & Michael Spavor (who are being held in far worse conditions).
Elliott repeatedly seemed to draw an equivalence between the arrest of Meng and the detention of the two Michaels, something that few Canadians would agree with. Whatever people may think of the former Trump administration in the US, the case against Meng Wanzhou has been found to have enough evidence to proceed by a judge, and is being conducted in an open manner, with Meng having equal access to a justice system with oversight.
Meanwhile, Kovrig and Spavor are detained in a country in which individual rights do not exist as they do in Canada, and where everything is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
As reported on Global News, here are some excerpts from the interview:
“As a Canadian, though, are you comfortable with calling the detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor political and it’s just pointing fingers?” Stephenson asked. “They were arbitrarily detained. So I guess I’ll put it to you right now. Will you call for their release? Will Huawei Canada call for their release?”
Elliott called the question “a very good point” but said Huawei Canada is “not a political entity.”
“Any time we go in to talk to a member of Parliament, senior bureaucrats, the Chinese government, we always say, our top three priorities are bring the two Michaels home, send Meng Wanzhou back to China, and then we can start talking about business relations,” he said.
“We’ve advocated for a number of different issues and we just want to extract ourselves from this political whirlpool that was instigated it by a former administration.”
“That doesn’t answer the question of whether Huawei Canada will condemn the detention of the two Michaels,” said Stephenson. “If Huawei wants to do business and you’re speaking as a Canadian, why would the company be unwilling to condemn the treatment of those two Canadian citizens?”
“Well as a company, we want everyone home, we want to send Meng Wanzhou back to China,” he said.
“So you see the detention of Meng Wanzhou and the two Michaels, you see those as equal? You see those as morally equal?” Stephenson interjected.
“This was actions that were outside of the company,” Elliott said. “We’re not a political entity, we’re not a political government. We’re a tech company that wants to do business in Canada. We want everyone home.”
You can watch the full interview here, as Elliott makes the false equivalence repeatedly.
Now, Elliott doesn’t seem like some mustache-twirling evil dude, and seemed uncomfortable with the line of questioning.
And why wouldn’t he be, when anyone who works for Huawei must know that if they don’t push the basic line of the Chinese Communist Party that they’ll be out of a job fast?
But that should really prompt some soul-searching from Elliott.
As a Canadian, why would he want to work at a company that makes an equivalence between the justice system of a ruthless authoritarian state, and the justice system of the country he lives in?
Why would he want to work for a company in which he has to make that false equivalence, and which doesn’t allow him to clearly condemn the arbitrary detention of two of his fellow Canadians.
Elliott should give all of this some thought, and then resign. There are tons of jobs he could get that wouldn’t require him to act in a way that is probably contrary to his conscience, and he should get one of those.
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