Canada Midfielder Quinn Comes Out As Transgender

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 28, 2019 Rebecca Quinn #5 of Seattle Reign FC is honored for representing the Canada Women’s National Soccer Team prior to taking on the Chicago Red Stars during their game at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. – Canada and OL Reign midfielder Rebecca Quinn came out publicly as transgender in an Instagram post on September 8, 2020. (Photo by Abbie Parr / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP).

 

 

Canada and OL Reign midfielder Rebecca Quinn came out publicly as transgender in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old player, who won Olympic bronze with the Canadian women’s team in 2016 and played for Canada at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, said the post was aimed at helping “queer folx” feel safe on social media.

“As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly,” Quinn wrote.

“I wanted to be visible to queer folx who don’t see people like them on their feed,” Quinn added. “I know it saved my life years ago.”

Quinn urged “cis folks” — those who identify with their birth gender — to be “better allies.”

Quinn plays professionally for the Tacoma, Washington-based OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League, and is currently on loan to Vittsjo GIK in Sweden.

Quinn is one of the most prominent North American team sports athletes to come out as transgender.

Triathlete Chris Mosier, who began his athletics career as a woman, competed for the US as a man in 2015.

AFP

I Look Forward To When Hard Work Will Be Rewarded In Nigeria, Says Nigeria-Born Canadian Minister

kaycee-madu
Kaycee Madu is thanking Nigerians for their support and prayers. Photo: [email protected] Madu.

 

 

Nigeria-born Kaycee Madu who was recently appointed as Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General of Alberta in Canada is looking forward to a day when hard work and merit are rewarded in Nigeria and Africa. 

In a tweet on his handle on Sunday evening, Madu who studied Law at the University of Lagos before moving to Canada in 2005, also thanked Nigerians, both home and abroad, for their support and wishes.

READ ALSO: Nigerian High Commission Closes Embassy In Canada

“Thank you for all the support and prayers coming from Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora,” he tweeted.

“I look forward to the day when Nigeria and Africa become places where hard work and merit are rewarded. Chukwu Gozie!”

 

 

He made history as the first African to be appointed as a Minister of Justice in the Canadian province of Alberta and had previously worked as the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Madu who was called to bar in the early 2000s is said to have left the country – alongside his wife – to Canada where they have been practising.

His most recent appointment  – on Tuesday last week –  has been eliciting reactions from many, both locally and internationally.

‘Landmark, Historic’

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari described the development as “landmark and historic,” saying it once again pedestals people of Nigerian descent as go-getters, who distinguish themselves in different walks of life.

 

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The President added that, as the first Black Justice Minister and Solicitor-General in Canada, Madu has written himself into history books, and urges Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to remain good ambassadors of their country.

For the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenny, Madu is a “trailblazer” whom he is pleased to see in “our team.”

“From the beginning, Kaycee’s story has been absolutely inspiring to all of us,” he said. “Now he is writing the next chapter as the first Black Justice Minister in Canadian history.”

Nigerian High Commission Closes Embassy In Canada

A screengrab of the Nigerian High Commission building in Ottawa, Canada. Map data: Google.

 

 

The Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, has shutdown activities indefinitely. 

A statement posted on the High Commission’s website said the development followed the abuse of a system it put in place to attend to a limited number of persons due to COVID-19 protocols.

“The High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Canada wishes to inform Nigerian communities in Canada and the general public that the mission remains closed to the public,” it said.

“The special intervention arrangement whereby emergency cases were being handled on a discretionary basis is hereby suspended.”

 

His Excellency Mr. Adeyinka Asekun, Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada. Photo: Nigerian High Commission, Ottawa, Canada.

 

According to the Commission, the system was set up to help Nigerians who had compelling passport renewal requests

“Our citizens for some reason chose to abuse this system; they would show up at the chancery without an appointment and insist on being attended to even on days when we were not open to the public at all,” the commission, however, said.

It explained that matters came to a head on Friday, August, 14th when a group showed up at the High Commission and did not let the Embassy staff attend to those who had appointments.

“They went as far as holding a female staff member who went to address them, hostage, for over twenty minutes and subjected her to physical abuse,”  the commission added.

“This kind of conduct is considered unnecessarily hostile and totally unacceptable and no embassy would tolerate conduct that puts the lives of its staff members at risk.”

While acknowledging that the closure of the airspace is limiting its ability to “bring much-needed passport booklets into the country” and is an area it will work on, the Nigerian High Commission disclosed that it is “considering ways to make our premises more secure and less susceptible to unruly behaviour and violent mob action.

Nigerians whose work or study permits have expired since March 2020, and who do not have a valid passport, have a grace period that lasts until December 31st, according to the High Commission.

“By this time, we expect to have resolved some of the challenging issues that COVID-19 has created,” the statement added.

 

 

 

Canada Finance Minister Announces His Resignation

Canada’s finance minister, Bill Morneau, announced his resignation on August 17, 2020, on the heels of an ethics scandal and amid a reported split with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over pandemic spending. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

 

Canada’s finance minister Bill Morneau announced his resignation Monday, on the heels of an ethics scandal and amid a reported split with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over pandemic spending.

Morneau, who has held the post since 2015, told a news conference that he met with Trudeau to inform him that he would not run in the next election, and that a new finance minister with a long-term outlook was needed.

“As we move to the next phase of our fight against the pandemic and pave the road towards economic recovery, we must recognize that this process will take many years, it’s the right time for a new finance minister to deliver on that plan for the long and challenging road ahead,” Morneau said.

“That’s why I’ll be stepping down as finance minister, and as member of Parliament,” he stated.

Morneau said he would now run for the job of secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

For the past week, Canadian media have reported on a purported rift emerging between Morneau and Trudeau on how to reboot the Canadian economy weakened by the new coronavirus pandemic, as the government budget deficit soared to more than Can$340 billion (US$257 billion).

Canada’s ethics commissioner also launched an investigation into the minister’s ties to a charity tapped by Ottawa to distribute pandemic aid to young Canadians.

Trudeau is also being probed over his family ties to the WE Charity, which paid his wife, brother and mother nearly Can$300,000 for speaking engagements in recent years.

The prime minister apologized last month for the affair, saying he made a mistake in not recusing himself from discussions about awarding the roughly Can$500 million contract to distribute student scholarship funds to WE Charity.

The program has been cancelled but the controversy remains.

Scapegoat

Opposition parties had called for Morneau to resign after he revealed that he had only recently paid back more than Can$41,000 in travel expenses to the charity, and that one of his daughters works for WE Charity while a second daughter volunteered for the organization.

The reimbursement check was meant to cover expenses incurred by the charity over two humanitarian trips he and his family took in 2017.

The scandal has damaged Trudeau’s minority government in public opinion polls, but his Liberal party is still positioned well for an early election, according to recent polls.

The Conservatives and New Democrats on Monday said Morneau’s departure was a sign of a government “in chaos” and that the former businessman was being made a scapegoat.

“At a time when Canadians are worried about their health and their finances, Justin Trudeau’s government is so consumed by scandal that Trudeau has amputated his right hand to try and save himself,” Tory leader Andrew Scheer said in a Twitter message.

The finance post is one of the most important in government as the country goes through the most serious economic crisis since World War II.

In a statement, Trudeau thanked Morneau for his tireless work to “create a resilient, fair economy that benefits everyone.”

He said Morneau had led the rollout of emergency benefits for millions of Canadians who lost their jobs and businesses that were forced to close temporarily due to a pandemic lockdown.

And, he added, Canada will “vigorously support” Morneau’s bid to lead the OECD, which “will play a critical role in the global economic recovery.”

Now the focus will shift to Morneau’s successor.

Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos have been mentioned in the local media as possible candidates.

The job could also go to former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who is currently living in Ottawa and has been informally providing policy advice to the government.

 

 

-AFP

China Sentences Another Canadian To Death On Drug Charges

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

 

China sentenced another Canadian to death on drugs charges Friday, the second in two days to be handed the punishment, as tensions soar between Beijing and Ottawa.

The Foshan Intermediate People’s Court in the country’s southern Guangdong province said Ye Jianhui had been sentenced for trafficking and manufacturing drugs, and would have all his assets confiscated.

According to the state-run Global Times, authorities seized more than 217 kilogrammes of white crystals containing MDMA from Ye and five others in 2016.

The rest of the group were also sentenced on Friday and one other death sentence was issued, while the others were given lesser penalties.

It comes a day after a court in the provincial capital Guangzhou handed a death sentence to Canadian national Xu Weihong on a charge of making drugs.

Last year, China also sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug trafficking charges as ties sour between the two countries on a number of fronts including the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian pleas for clemency for the pair, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei, have so far not been successful.

When asked about the latest case Friday, China’s foreign ministry said its “judicial organs handle cases independently in strict accordance with the law”.

“We urge Canada to take immediate and effective measures to correct its mistakes and make concrete efforts to bring bilateral relations back on track,” said spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing.

– Deteriorating ties –

Relations have deteriorated rapidly between the two countries in a number of areas over recent years.

Two other Canadian nationals have been detained by Beijing on spying charges — including a former diplomat — a move widely considered retaliation for Meng’s arrest in Canada.

The United States wants Meng extradited to face trial on charges related to Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei’s alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.

In June, Beijing formally charged the two men with espionage.

Canadian foreign minister François-Philippe Champagne said before the latest sentencing that his government had told Beijing they “oppose the death penalty at every step of the way”.

Beijing keeps its data secret about the number of death sentences it carries out every year.

But according to Amnesty International, China is the world’s top executioner, with thousands believed to be killed each year.

 

AFP

China Sentences Canadian To Death Over Drug Charge

A file photo of Chinese President, Xi Jinping
A file photo of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping

 

A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian national to death on Thursday in a ruling that could further inflame tensions between China and Canada.

The Guangzhou Intermediate Court said in a statement it had handed Xu Weihong a death sentence for manufacturing drugs, and said all his personal property would be confiscated.

According to China’s state-run Global Times, Xu had bought raw materials and tools for drug production in October 2016 and worked with an accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, to make ketamine.

The drugs were made in Wen’s home and stored in Xu’s residence in Guangzhou, with public security officers seizing over 120 kilogrammes of ketamine from the pair, the report added.

The ruling comes after China sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug trafficking charges last year, and as tensions soar between the two countries on a number of fronts including the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Beijing has also detained two Canadian nationals, including a former diplomat, on spying charges, in a move widely considered retaliation for Meng’s arrest in Canada.

The United States wants Meng extradited to face trial on charges related to the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.

On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing that “Chinese judicial organs handle all criminals of different nationalities according to law”.

Referring to the latest case involving Xu, Wang added: “I don’t think this should have any impact on China-Canada relations.”

Diplomatic tensions

Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have deteriorated over China’s arrests and Meng’s case, damaging trade between both countries.

Canadian pleas for clemency for its citizens previously sentenced on drug charges, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei, have so far not been successful.

In this file photo taken on May 8, 2019, Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, of the Vancouver Uyghur Association, demonstrates against China's treatment of Uighurs while holding a photo of detained Canadians Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig outside a court appearance for Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. Jason Redmond / AFP
In this file photo taken on May 8, 2019, Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, of the Vancouver Uyghur Association, demonstrates against China’s treatment of Uighurs while holding a photo of detained Canadians Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig outside a court appearance for Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. Jason Redmond / AFP

 

Meanwhile, in June Beijing formally charged the other pair of detained Canadians — ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor — for spying, in a move that came just weeks after a key ruling in the Meng case.

A Canadian judge had ruled that proceedings to extradite her to the United States will go ahead.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment with the formal charges in June, renewing calls for their release.

Monthly consular visits for Kovrig and Spavor have been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak started in China as well, sparking concerns over their health.

Although China’s foreign ministry insisted the pair were in good health, people familiar with the matter have told AFP they endured hours of interrogation and in the first six months of detention were forced to sleep with the lights on.

China keeps data secret about the number of death sentences it carries out every year.

But according to Amnesty International, China is the world’s top executioner, with thousands believed to be killed each year.

 

AFP

Trudeau Under Pressure Ahead Of Ethics Probe Testimony

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

 

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear before Parliament Thursday to deliver much-anticipated testimony about his awarding of a lucrative government contract to an organization that had previously paid members of his family.

Trudeau, the subject of an ethics investigation, is expected speak before the Finance Commission at 3 pm (1900 GMT) for about an hour, an exceptional move for a Canadian head of government.

Both main opposition parties on Wednesday again called on Trudeau, who heads a minority government, to resign.

Trudeau apologized for the affair on July 13, saying he made a “mistake” in not recusing himself from discussions about awarding a student scholarship fund government contract to WE Charity that was initially estimated at CAN$990 million (USD $662 million).

Canada’s youth minister has said the program’s final value actually came out to about CAN$500 million, local media reported.

The charity has given up the program, but the controversy remains. The organization could have already received more than CAN$40 million, according to reports.

WE Charity has said it paid Trudeau’s mother and brother nearly CAN$300,000 for speaking engagements in recent years.

Trudeau’s wife was paid CAN$1,500 for an event in 2012, before her husband became the leader of the Liberal Party.

‘Half a million dollars’

A spokesman for the opposition Conservative Party on Wednesday also accused WE Charity of reimbursing Trudeau relatives another CAN$212,000 in travel expenses.

“We have half a million dollars from WE to the Trudeau family,” spokesman Pierre Poilievre said, in calling for a second Ethics Commission investigation into the prime minister.

The Conservatives are basing their numbers on testimony given by WE Charity’s co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger to the Finance Commission on Tuesday.

“We were not chosen for this work by public servants because of our relationship with politicians,” the brothers insisted during their four-hour appearance.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who has also found himself ensnared in the matter as a second subject of the ethics investigation, said last week that he had paid back more than CAN$41,000 in travel expenses to the charity.

Morneau also apologized for his involvement in discussions about disbursing contracts to WE Charity, as one of his children is employed by the organization.

Morneau’s reimbursement check was meant to cover expenses incurred by the charity over two humanitarian trips he and his family took in 2017.

The scandal has damaged Trudeau in public opinion polls, but his party is still positioned well for an early election, according to the average of four polls cited by Canadian public broadcaster CBC.

More than half of the country — 53 percent — said they now have a lower opinion of Trudeau than they did a month ago, according to one such poll.

The prime minister has run afoul of the ethics commissioner on two previous occasions since 2017 for conflict of interest violations.

 

 

-AFP

Canada Okays Ebola Drug For Use Against COVID-19

This file photo taken on April 8, 2020 shows one vial of the drug Remdesivir during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Ulrich Perrey / POOL / AFP
This file photo taken on April 8, 2020 shows one vial of the drug Remdesivir during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Ulrich Perrey / POOL / AFP

 

Canada on Tuesday gave the green light for people with severe symptoms of COVID-19 to be treated with the anti-viral drug remdesivir.

“Remdesivir is the first drug that Health Canada has authorized for the treatment of COVID-19,” said the health ministry.

At least two major US studies have shown that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients.

Washington authorized the emergency use of the medicine — which was originally intended as a treatment for Ebola — on May 1, followed by several Asian nations including Japan and South Korea.

Canada said Tuesday it can be used on COVID-19 patients who have pneumonia and need extra oxygen to help them breathe.

The doses used in Canada will be made by a unit of Gilead Sciences, the US pharmaceutical company that developed the drug.

In early July, the European Commission also authorized use of remdesivir to treat the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, Canada was reporting 114,800 cases of the virus and more than 8,900 fatalities.

 

AFP

Canada Suspends Extradition With Hong Kong To Protest China’s New Security Law

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily coronavirus, COVID-19 briefing at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario,/ AFP

 

Canada on Friday suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong to protest the sweeping new national security law China has enacted in the financial hub.

Canada is also halting exports of sensitive military gear to Hong Kong and updating its travel advisory so Canadians traveling there will know how the law might affect them, the foreign ministry said.

“Canada is a firm believer in the one-country, two-system framework,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, referring to the semi-autonomous model adopted after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

 

Canada Extends Ban On Non-US Arrivals By Another Month

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP.

 

Canada extended its entry ban for most foreigners by another month to July 31 and also prolonged its quarantine requirements in efforts to prevent imported cases of the coronavirus.

The general border closure does not apply to people coming from the United States, who remain restricted to only essential travel to Canada until at least July 21, with visits for tourism or recreation forbidden.

“Border measures prohibiting foreign nationals from entering Canada from any country other than the United States subject to certain limited exceptions… (have) been extended,” Canada’s public health agency said in a statement Tuesday.

Canada has reported more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 8,600 deaths — far less than the US, which has confirmed 2.6 million infections.

Canada’s population of around 37 million is far smaller than the US’ 329 million.

A mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals will remain in place until August 31, the public health agency said.

The extension was announced as the European Union agreed to reopen its borders to 15 countries, including Canada, deemed to have brought their domestic outbreaks under control.

AFP

Canada Probes Racism Claim Against Its Indigenous Citizens

 In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020, in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

Canadian authorities are probing claims that doctors and nurses placed bets on the blood alcohol level of indigenous patients who sought emergency treatment at a British Columbia hospital.

Hospital staff would try to guess the blood alcohol level of patients they thought were indigenous, said rights group Metis Nation BC.

The game was called “Price is Right”, a reference to a game show where contestants guess the price of merchandise.

“If true, it is intolerable, unacceptable and racist,” said provincial health minister Adrian Dix on Friday, adding that an investigation had been launched.

A 2019 report said racism against indigenous people was widespread in the province’s health system, Metis Nation BC president Daniel Fontaine told public broadcaster CBC.

“First Nations, Metis and Inuit patients seeking emergency medical services in British Columbia are often assumed to be intoxicated and denied medical assessments,” the group said in a statement.

This contributes “to worsening health conditions resulting in unnecessary harm or death,” it added.

China Charges Two Canadians With Spying

 In this file photo taken on May 8, 2019, Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, of the Vancouver Uyghur Association, demonstrates against China's treatment of Uighurs while holding a photo of detained Canadians Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig outside a court appearance for Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver.  Jason Redmond / AFP
In this file photo taken on May 8, 2019, Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, of the Vancouver Uyghur Association, demonstrates against China’s treatment of Uighurs while holding a photo of detained Canadians Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig outside a court appearance for Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. Jason Redmond / AFP

 

China has formally charged two Canadians with spying, officials said Friday, more than 18 months after they were arrested in a spat between Beijing and Ottawa.

The pair were detained shortly after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on a US warrant, in what is widely believed to have been a retaliatory move from China.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate said Friday it has begun the prosecution of ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, who were “suspected of foreign espionage” and “providing state secrets”.

The move comes just weeks after a key ruling in the Meng case where a Canadian judge ruled that proceedings to extradite her to the United States will go ahead.

The United States wants Meng extradited to face trial on charges related to the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.

Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have hit rock bottom over the arrests, damaging trade between the countries.

China’s Embassy in Ottawa accused the United States of trying “to bring down Huawei”.

China has also blocked billions of dollars’ worth of Canadian agricultural exports.

The arrests of Kovrig and Spavor nine days after Meng was taken into custody have been widely decried as retribution.

While the eldest daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has been out on bail and living in a mansion in Vancouver, the two Canadians remain in China’s opaque penal system.

Monthly consular visits for Kovrig and Spavor had been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak started in China, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in April, amid concerns over their well-being.

Beijing confirmed Friday that these were still suspended and would not resume until the virus situation had improved.

China’s foreign ministry has previously insisted the pair are in good health and that their detention facility is “in a region that is not particularly affected by COVID-19”.

However, people familiar with the matter have told AFP the two have endured hours of interrogation and in the first six months of detention were forced to sleep with the lights on.

Chinese human rights lawyer Li Fangping told AFP the pair could expect their trials to be held in secret, with an official lawyer appointed.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday that the circumstances surrounding the case were “particularly serious… the facts of the crime are clear and the evidence sufficient.”

‘Arbitrarily detained’

Trudeau has insisted on leaving it to the courts to decide Meng’s fate.

He lamented in May that China “doesn’t seem to understand” the meaning of an independent judiciary.

His foreign minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, said after the May ruling over Meng that Canada would “continue to pursue principled engagement with China to address our bilateral differences”.

Champagne also said Ottawa would continue to press for the release of Kovrig and Spavor, “who have been arbitrarily detained for over 500 days”, and for clemency for a third Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, facing execution.

Meng’s case now continues to a second phase, yet to be scheduled, when the defence will challenge the lawfulness of her arrest, followed by more hearings likely in September.

Any appeals could further drag it out for years.

In contrast, the trial of Kovrig and Spavor would likely happen fairly quickly, experts said.

Li said “under normal circumstances a verdict would take six months.”

Ryan Mitchell, law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the long period of detention was “probably intended to help coerce a ‘voluntary’ confession out of one or both of the two Canadians”.

“These trials are thus likely to be quite rapidly dealt with, and the verdict and sentence already determined by the (Communist) Party officials overseeing management of the cases,” he said.