More Than Half of Canadians Support Boycotting 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Survey

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew is a reporter based in Toronto.
August 10, 2021 Updated: August 10, 2021

With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics just months away, a new survey shows more than half of Canadians support boycotting the event to be hosted by the Chinese communist regime.

A total of 64 percent of respondents said they would support or somewhat support a Canadian boycott of the Beijing Olympics “because of tensions between the two countries involving China holding two Canadians in jail and Canada holding a Huawei executive as part of a possible U.S. extradition,” according to the survey, sponsored by CTV News and conducted by Nanos Research.

Since December 2018, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been imprisoned in China on baseless charges of espionage. The two were detained days after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies, at the request of the United States.

Meng is charged with bank fraud for lying to HSBC and other financial institutions, about Huawei’s business with Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country. Unlike Kovrig and Spavor, Meng was soon released and is under house arrest at one of her multimillion-dollar mansions in Vancouver as her case makes its way through court.

The pro-boycott sentiment is shared by provinces across the country. Ontario shows the highest level of enthusiasm, with a total of 70.3 percent of the respondents saying they would support or somewhat support a boycott. The number sits at 66.5 percent for British Columbia, 66.2 percent for the Prairies, 60 percent for Atlantic Canada, and 50.9 percent for Quebec.

Fourteen percent of respondents said they would somewhat oppose a boycott, and 15 percent said they would oppose one. Eight percent of respondents were unsure.

As concerns mount about China’s poor human rights record, earlier this year over a dozen federal lawmakers signed an open letter calling for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be relocated to another country.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has suggested Canada host of the Games in concert with the United States.

Ongoing Human Rights Abuses

China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province and its long-running persecution campaign against adherents of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong are just two of a multitude of ongoing rights abuses under the communist regime.

Last month, as Falun Gong adherents commemorated the victims of the persecution launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1999, over 30 Canadian lawmakers signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sanction China.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, includes meditation exercises and teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Introduced in China in 1992, it gained widespread popularity for the many benefits to people’s mental and physical well-being. By 1999, it had attracted 70-100 million adherents, according to official Chinese government estimates. But former CCP leader Jiang Zemin perceived that popularity as a threat to the regime’s rule, and launched a campaign in July of that year aimed at eradicating the practice.

In February 2021, Canadian MPs voted unanimously in favour of recognizing Beijing’s repression of Uyghur Muslims as a genocide, and many also voted in favour of an amendment to a motion to call on the International Olympic Committee to pull the 2022 Olympics out of China if the gross human rights violations continue.

On June 23, rallies organized by the World Uyghur Congress were held in over 50 cities around the world to protest Beijing’s hosting of the Games.

For the poll, Nanos surveyed 1,002 Canadians, age 18 years and older, via telephone or the internet, from July 30 to Aug. 2, 2021. The margin of error is a plus or minus 3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.

With reporting by Issac Teo.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew is a reporter based in Toronto.