After former Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister Alan Freeman spoke out about the need for Canada to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing earlier this year, other members of the government in both Canada and the United States have joined him in urging for the boycott. The boycott talks stem from the human rights violations that have been occurring in China.
In Canada, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has asked that the government push for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to find a new host for the games.
“I think Canadians would agree that it would violate fundamental ethical principles to participate in an Olympic Games hosted by a country that is committing a genocide against part of its population,”
In Canada over 180 humans rights groups have called on the nation to boycott the Games. A letter featuring the signatures of over a dozen federal lawmakers, thirteen Members of Parliament, and Olympic gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard, asking for the relocation of the games.
On Monday the Canadian House of Commons held a note to deem the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur minority group as a genocide under the definition established by the United Nations. The vote passed 266-0. The House of Commons also formally asked the IOC to change the venue for the 2022 Games.
While some Canadians have called for change without proposing specific solutions, Green Party leader Annamie Paul and New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh suggested that either Canada or both Canada and the U.S. host the Olympic Games in 2022.
In the United States, John Katko, a Congressman and member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wrote newly elected president Joe Biden urging him to consider a boycott of the Games.
“I write you to urge the boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The United States must stand up and defend its commitment to human rights and the rule of law that this country was founded upon and act immediately to curb ‘the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese partystate.’ The actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are antithetical to the values of both the United States and its allies around the world. Participation in an Olympics held in a country that is openly committing genocide not only undermines those shared values but casts a shadow on the promise for all those who seek free and just societies.”
Katko’s full letter to the president was shared on the House Homeland GOP’s social media.
The U.S. cannot in good faith participate in Olympic Games in a country that is actively engaged in genocide. @RepJohnKatko is calling for a U.S. boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
— House Homeland GOP (@HomelandGOP) February 22, 2021