Canadian envoy who was expelled from Saudi Arabia says consul faces challenging days

·1 min read

A former Canadian diplomat who was barred from Saudi Arabia in 2018 says the consul set to be expelled from China should prepare for challenging days ahead.

Dennis Horak, the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was ordered out of Riyadh in 2018 as the kingdom hit back at Canada for condemning the jailing of two human rights activists.

He says there will likely be similarities between his experience and what awaits Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, the Canadian consul in Shanghai, who China is expelling in retaliation against a similar move by Canada.

Horak says that because he was on leave when the Saudi order was issued, he had to guide embassy staff over webcam as they packed up his life.

He says the ordeal was a huge strain for him and his wife, as they never got the chance to say goodbye to friends and colleagues after three years in Saudi Arabia.

Lalonde's expulsion from China comes after Canada expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, who the Canadian Security Intelligence Service hasalleged was involved in a plot to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2023.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press