So who follows the Prime Minister to China anyway? There’s a selection of backbenchers, a handful of cabinet ministers, and about 40 business and community leaders whose names were given to us by the Prime Minister’s Office. Let’s have a look.
Nine people are listed as belonging to the “PM’s Delegation.” These include Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin, David Schellenberg of Cascade Aerospace, Patrick Lamarre of engineering giant SNC, Lowell Jackson of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers,
University of Western Ontario Western University Canada president Amit Chakma, and Duncan Dee of Air Canada.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is listed with an 11-person delegation including senior executives from Shell, Enbridge, Syncrude, Eldorado Gold and Cameco, a uranium mining company.
There are 13 people in Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s delegation, including representatives of the cattle, pork, wheat, grain, pulse (mmmm lentils; one day I’ll bore you with the amazing story of Canada’s bean and pulse industry’s exports to India) and rendering sectors.
Also on the trip is Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong, the first Chinese-Canadian cabinet minister. Her delegation list is 10 names long. They include John Chang of Lulu Island Winery; Ming-Tat Cheung, chairman of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto; and the Rev. Dominic Tse, Senior Pastor at the North York Chinese Community Church, and President of the Jubilee Centre for Christian Social Action.
In almost every case, it’s pretty clear how these people got on this trip. I did have to look up Cameco and West Coast Reduction, and I think it’s safe to predict agreements on uranium supply to China’s nuclear power sector, and on, uh, animal bits, during this trip.
I also looked up the Jubilee Centre, and here’s what I found.
The Rev. Tse’s blog suggests he’s no fan of the Ontario Liberal government’s school curriculum on sexuality, and that he didn’t like it when a Globe and Mail reporter asked Science Minister Gary Goodyear about evolution. He joined in a chorus of condemnation when Henry Morgentaler received an Order of Canada.
But perhaps most interesting is the records at Elections Canada, where the Jubilee Centre for Christian Social Action registered, under Tse’s name, as a third party in the elections of 2004 and 2006, before spending $23,476.28 in 2004 and $20,520.50 in 2006 on “Election advertising expenses to promote or oppose the election of one or more candidates” in the Toronto area. The Harper government introduced the Accountability Act in 2006, which capped election spending well below those levels for subsequent elections.