The prime minister wants businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, both detained December 2018, to be released prior to a deal. (TVA)
Talking point: The appeal comes as the U.S. and China are increasingly signalling progress in their talks. The U.S. expects a “phase one” deal to be signed in January, and earlier today China announced it would exempt six U.S. chemical products from additional tariffs for a year. Kovrig and Spavor were arrested after Canadian officials detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver as part of an extradition attempt by the U.S. The two Canadians have had no access to family members or lawyers while in custody. Ottawa has made repeated appeals to China to have them released. Asking the U.S. to intervene is a sign those efforts have been ineffective. It also follows federal opposition parties’ move earlier this month to form a committee to look at ways of freeing the two detainees.