Documents Reveal Canada Planned Winter Training with Chinese Troops; Canceled After U.S. Request

Justin Trudeau China (Lars Hagberg / AFP / Getty)

Documents revealed Wednesday by Canada’s Rebel News Network suggest that Canada planned to train China’s military in cold weather tactics at a military base in Ontario — and canceled the program, reluctantly, at the Trump administration’s request.

Ezra Levant, who founded Rebel News Network, asked for the documents via an official information request that he filed after seeing a news report on Sputnik, the Russian propaganda site, that a Canadian official had attended an anniversary celebration for China’s navy in April 2019.

China has been holding two Canadian citizens, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, as effective hostages since December 2018, following Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, wanted in the U.S. The Canadians have been charged with espionage.

The Canadian government gave Levant the documents, which have been posted at Some appear to have been targeted for redaction, but were greyed out, instead of being blacked out, leaving most of the words fully visible.

The documents obtained by Levant suggest that a Canadian military official did indeed attend the “PLA Navy 70th Anniversary Fleet Review  in Qingdao, China, in April 2019. But they also suggest that “6-8 personnel” from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were to participate in “winter survival training” at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa (CFB Petawawa) in Petawawa, Ontario.

One reason the Chinese might have been interested in winter tactics: PLA soldiers would later become involved in conflicts with Indian troops in the Himalayas.

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