Clockwise from top left, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker; Couns. David Chesney, Helen Fathers, Anthony Manning, Erika Johanson, Scott Kristjanson; Christopher Trevelyan.

White Rock council to boycott Chinese-sponsored reception at UBCM

Every member of council said they will not attend the PRC-sponsored event

In response to the Union of B.C. Municipalities announcement that it will not cancel a People’s Republic of China-sponsored gathering, every member of White Rock city council, including the mayor, has indicated they will not be attending the reception.

UBCM started to face increased scrutiny over its annual Chinese-sponsored reception as relations between Canada and China began to deteriorate.

Earlier this year, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West announced he would not attend the reception, in protest of the fact that two Canadians are being held in China.

West’s criticism comes as Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China for nearly 300 days.

RELATED:Feds ‘deeply concerned’ by China’s arrest of Canadians Kobrig, Spavor

On social media, West said even if he overlooked the “hostile actions of China,” like detaining the two Canadians and trade restrictions, “I won’t back down in my belief that taking $ from a foreign govt is wrong, that ignoring the hostile actions of #China is wrong (sic).”

White Rock resident Christian Lane, who made an unsuccessful bid for White Rock council last civic election, contacted Peace Arch News with his concerns regarding the PRC-sponsored event, and shared a letter he wrote to council.

In the letter, he called on each White Rock councillor to use their “platforms as leaders in our community, answer this call and publicly commit to boycotting the PRC reception.”

RELATED: Delta mayor joins push against Chinese reception at B.C. mayors’ convention

Lane wrote that the reception was overshadowed by PRC’s “arbitrary detention” of Spavor and Kovrig; “their imposition of hostile sanctions impacting Canada’s agriculture sector; their condemnation of our respect for the rule of law and their mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army as the citizens of Hong Kong take to the streets in the millions in a fight to maintain their democracy and freedoms.”

Contacted this week, every member of White Rock council told PAN that they will not be attending the reception.

White Rock Coun. Anthony Manning went further, and wrote to PAN that he will “boycott the PRC-sponsored reception unless there’s an organised protest, which I will attend instead.”

Manning shared a letter he wrote to West on July 10, which expressed support for West for speaking out against the Chinese sponsorship, and participation, in the UBCM forum.

“With proper media coverage, the public embarrassment ensuing from such a debacle may be enough to shame them into never sponsoring a UBCM event again,” Manning wrote to West.

The UBCM is to take place Sept. 23-27 in Vancouver.

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

Just Posted

Surrey councillor says McCallum, city sent letter to Uber to cease operations

Ridesharing company told to cease operations by 9 p.m. Friday within Surrey

Man killed in fall from Civic Hotel balcony in Surrey

Heavy emergency services presence in plaza at the skyscraper, at 13475 Central Ave.

Outdoor skating rink at free Winter Festival in Surrey, with food trucks and more

At Guildford Town Centre, hit the ice for free with your own skates or rent some for donation

Ride-hailing arrives in North Delta

Uber’s picking up passengers in North Delta, Ladner, but Tsawwassen is still waiting for the service

Plans for apartments on Strawberry Hill shopping site coming to Surrey council

It would be near the library, and include 123 rental units

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

5 things you need to know to start using ridesharing in Metro Vancouver

From how to get started to where drivers can take you, heres all you need to know

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read