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.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for owner of stolen catalytic converters

They were found last Thursday, along with some power tools, in an abandoned rental truck

Surrey Eagles rebound with win Sunday after pair of road losses

South Surrey-based BC Hockey League team defeates Langley Rivermen on home ice

South Surrey event to benefit efforts to help Cambodia rebuild

Cambodia ‘missing a whole generation’ due to Khmer Rouge genocide

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers head home on a high after 27-0 win over Terry Fox

AAA Varsity team’s home-opener is Friday, Sept. 27 at Cloverdale turf

White Rock couple to donate blood 325th time, collectively

Anne Friendly will make her 175th donation, while her husband Kevin Klop will donate his 150th time

VIDEO: ‘Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ top Emmys

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win best drama-series acting Emmy

B.C. man accused of threatening sex worker gave statement of own free will: Justice

Defence wanted Vernon’s Curtis Sagmoen’s video interview with police deemed inadmissible

GRAPHIC: Dead cat found with string around its neck in Kelowna alleyway

City crews have been contacted and are on the way to pick up the dead feline.

Firefighters may be needed for paramedic apartment access, experts say

Better coordination recommended in urban B.C. 9-1-1 calls

B.C. police chief to speak to Liberal candidate after second ad appears featuring photo of officer

Jati Sidhu had said an ad with the same photo posted last Friday was ‘not appropriate’

Stolen iPhone leads Abbotsford Police to 260 marijuana plants

Search warrant at west Abbotsford home leads to seizure of plants

B.C. students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

B.C. Federation of Students launches ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

MEC and LUSH stores to close on Friday for global climate strikes

Retailers will be closed on Sept. 27 so that staff can march in demonstrations

Hybrid vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

Island Class vessels, coming by 2022, part of ferry corporation’s broader strategy

Most Read