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Canada gave $41 million taxpayer dollars to China last year despite the country being the world's second largest economy with a $10 billion space program and a $13 trillion economy, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
According to the Statistical Report on International Assistance, Canada gave more aid to China than the Philippines ($38 million), Rwanda ($36 million), Guatemala ($25 million) or Cambodia ($9 million).
The report found that much of the aid was in the form of multilateral aid directed through third parties like the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Global Environment Facility, staff wrote.
Over $3 million, though, was sent in direct aid, with nearly half of all direct aid going to the Department of the Environment. “Canada and China continue to build on a long-standing history of collaboration on the environment and climate change,” then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said in 2018, justifying the payment. “Pollution knows no borders.”
Data was withheld by the foreign ministry regarding grants in China during Canada's latest election season, when Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer called for a cut to global aid by 25 percent, which would have likely put China on the chopping block. The ministry said the data was not available.
“Our plan will take Canadian tax dollars away from corrupt dictators and wealthy countries and return it to Canadians,” Scheer told reporters last October 1. “We will use the savings to pay for policies that help Canadians get ahead at home and also redirect $700 million to strengthen foreign aid in the countries that need it most," said Scheer, pre-election.
Canada has run a trade deficit with China since 1992, with the deficit breaking a record $50 billion last year.
The relationship between Canada and China has been a particularly challenging one for Canadian leadership, since the arrest of Chinese tech royalty Meng Wanzhou.
Following the Vancouver airport arrest Wanzhou in December of 2018, China decided that it would imprison two Canadians, now considered by many to be political prisoners.
Michael Korvig and Michael Spavor have spent over a year in solitary confinement in China.
Korvig and Spavor remain imprisoned in China today, while Meng, the CFO of Huawei mobile, is out on bail living in a luxurious mansion in the Vancouver area.
Additionally, China re-tried a Canadian drug dealer in January of 2019 seemingly out of the blue, sentencing the man, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death.