Apparently Jean Chretien thinks it might be time for Canada to cry 'uncle.'
Jean Chrétien is floating the idea of having Canada’s Justice Minister exercise his legal authority to stop the U.S. extradition of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou as the means to normalize diplomatic relations with China, sources say.
The former Liberal prime minister, who last week offered to serve as Canada’s special envoy to China to help free two jailed Canadians, has discussed the idea of cancelling the extradition process with business executives, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations.
...Sources say Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Goldenberg have pointed out in discussions that the law states the Justice Minister can end an extradition process. The Extradition Act says the minister “may at any time withdraw the authority to proceed” with an extradition request and “and if the minister does so, the court shall discharge and set aside any order made respecting their judicial interim release or detention.”
...Mr. Chrétien has said privately that the United States played a trick on Canada by forcing Ottawa to arrest Ms. Meng, and called the extradition request an unacceptable move by the United States at the expense of Canada and its farmers and pork producers. He has also privately said he doesn’t think Canada should pay the price for the Meng arrest.
Prof. Jiang, an expert on China who discussed with Mr. Goldenberg his proposal to have the Justice Minister end the Meng extradition, said Chinese authorities have carefully read the extradition law and know it is possible.Trump has already openly mused that he might use Ms. Meng as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from Beijing in Washington's trade war. So much for the legitimacy of America's extradition request.
That this information even surfaces through anonymous sources seems to suggest Chretien might be less of an ally to Justin Trudeau than some imagined. That, in turn, might partly explain why a former Chertien aide has emerged as such a relentless critic of the current prime minister.
Was Canada manipulated by Trump, forced in effect to arrest Meng by a disingenuous extradition demand? Were we tricked? That does seem possible.