Canada’s Ambassador to China Dominic Barton waits to appear before the House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations in Ottawa, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well, and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada’s Ambassador to China Dominic Barton waits to appear before the House of Commons committee on Canada-China relations in Ottawa, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well, and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Kovrig, Spavor are ‘inspiring’ and ‘robust’ in Chinese prison, says Canada’s envoy

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested and imprisoned on Dec. 10, 2018

Canada’s ambassador to China says Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are physically and mentally well and showing inspiring resilience as they near the end of their second year of imprisonment by the People’s Republic.

Dominic Barton says Chinese authorities were completely paranoid about COVID-19 as they denied consular access to the two men from January to November.

Barton is leading Canada’s efforts in China to win the release of Kovrig and Spavor, who were arrested and imprisoned on Dec. 10, 2018, in what is widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou.

After months of delay, Barton was granted on-site virtual consular access to Kovrig and Spavor in November, following similar virtual visits with the two Canadians a month earlier.

Barton offered the update in testimony Thursday night before the House of Commons special committee on Canada-China relations.

He also described the three-day Chinese government-controlled visit to Tibet that he and nine other Western diplomats undertook in October, saying he remains concerned about the human rights situation there and that they only saw what the Chinese wanted them to see.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Columbia Basin Trust is asking residents across the region to test their internet speeds so the Trust can better identify which areas aren’t meeting service expectations. (Columbia Basin Trust file)
Columbia Basin Trust asks residents to test internet speeds

Several communities across the Basin region, including Moyie, are asked to take the test

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

We’ve got ambitious goals for this year’s garden, which means a lot of planning and organizing over the coming weeks. (Corey Bullock file)
Farm Life: The seeds of tomorrow

Time to plan for the growing season

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

Most Read