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HomeBusinessAnswers demanded about Bill Yee’s role as advisor to Premier John Horgan

Answers demanded about Bill Yee’s role as advisor to Premier John Horgan

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Bob Mackin

More questions than answers, after the NDP government now says a former provincial court judge who denied China is committing genocide already ended his term as advisor to Premier John Horgan.

Bill Yee (far left) at a September 2018 Chinatown ceremony with Premier John Horgan and then-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (BC Gov)

On April 6, theBreaker.news reported that Bill Yee, the 2018-appointed, co-chair of the Premier’s Chinese-Canadian Community Advisory Committee, denied that China is committing human rights atrocities against Uyghur Muslims.

Evidence of mass-detention, forced labour and other human rights violations from Chinese government documents, intelligence agencies and eyewitness testimony led Canada’s House of Commons to vote 266-0 in February to declare China is committing genocide. Last month, Canada joined the U.S. and U.K. governments to sanction four CCP officials and a security agency.

Yee’s controversial March 30 interview on a Toronto Cantonese language radio program sparked calls for his firing from the committee. On April 8, NDP Minister of State for Trade George Chow issued a statement that said the committee had wound-up in February and Yee would not seek re-appointment to the new committee.

That contradicts the April 6 statement from the Premier’s office to theBreaker.news, that said “Mr. Bill Yee has been asked to not identify himself as a member of the Advisory Committee when expressing personal opinions.”

The Feb. 23, 2018 announcement of the committee made no mention of term lengths for Yee or any of the other 16 appointees.

“Why would Mr. Yee allow himself to be introduced on the March 30 radio interview as the current co-chair of the committee?” said a statement from a group of 13 Chinese-Canadian human rights activists. “Why was the initial response from the B.C. government one of Mr. Yee expressing his personal opinion, if it knew then Mr. Yee was no longer their advisor?  What caused this inconsistency?”

The same 13 said they had not received a response to their open letter calling for Yee’s removal. The group wonders if Yee was screened before the 2018 appointment, after a history of comments in favour of the Chinese Communist Party. For example, 30 years ago, then-Chinese Benevolent Society president Yee opposed the Goddess of Democracy statue at University of B.C. in memory of students killed in the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Bill Yee (BC Gov)

The 13 activists include Bill Chu of the Canadians for Reconciliation Society, Thekla Lit, Asian Holocaust education advocate, Fenella Sung of Canadian Friends of Hong Kong, and Mabel Tung of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement. They also want Yee removed from the provincially funded Chinese Canadian Museum board. “Anyone who endorses suppression of citizens and minorities and keen on rewriting history for a foreign nation has no place in directing this government funded museum,” their statement said.

Ultimately, they say the Yee case should be a wake up call for Canadian politicians and parties targeted by the CCP’s United Front foreign influence and infiltration program.

“Through business and cultural exchanges, influence buying, cyber hacking, data harvesting, bribes, sex, trade, fame, blackmailing, etc., CCP infiltration and influence tactics are holistic and deeply embedded in our society. Behind the façade of peaceful-rising, CCP has been attacking our universal values and democratic foundation.”

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