THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 9 P A R T 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 1 809
Our Entre Nous of March 20191 noted the gulf between the Canadian
legal system, based on the rule of law from which Meng
Wanzhou would benefit, and the legal system of China, in
which Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were by that point
ensnared. Accordingly, we resisted labelling China’s arrest of the “two
Michaels” shortly after Meng’s in Canada as “tit for tat”, with its connotation
In late September 2021, Meng and the “two Michaels” returned, with
much fanfare, to their respective home countries. What unfolded between
their respective arrests and release was predictably far different in China
than in Canada.
How the case unfolded in Canada is consistent with the rule of law, as
foreshadowed in our March 2019 Entre Nous. How the parallel cases of the
“two Michaels” unfolded in China confirmed its legal system is, to put it
politely, based on very different principles.
As is now well known, on December 1, 2018, the RCMP arrested Meng, a
Chinese citizen and Huawei’s chief financial officer, at Vancouver International
Airport while she was en route from Hong Kong to Mexico, before she
could board her connecting flight. The arrest was made pursuant to a U.S.
request under the Treaty on Extradition between the Government of Canada
and the Government of the United States of America (the “Extradition Treaty”).
The United States sought Meng’s extradition for prosecution in the Eastern
District of New York in relation to conduct that was said to be equivalent to
fraud as described in s. 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.3
Much might be debated in relation to U.S. motivations, the breadth of its
underlying laws, whether it should have put Canada in the position it did
and the manner in which the arrest was made. However, what is apparent
is that before the Canadian courts, Meng received fair process.
A judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Ehrcke J.) granted
bail4 and, until her departure from Canada, Meng was permitted to reside