François-Philippe Champagne is a Canadian politician who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2019 to 2021, and previously as the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities from 2015 to 2017. During his time in office, there were some notable criticisms and controversies:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement: As Foreign Minister, Champagne faced criticism for Canada’s slow procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Critics argued that Champagne should have done more to secure vaccine supplies earlier, and that Canada was too reliant on foreign suppliers.
- Saudi Arabia Arms Deal: As Minister of International Trade, Champagne was involved in approving a controversial $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, despite concerns about human rights abuses by the Saudi regime. The deal has been criticized by human rights groups and some politicians, and there have been calls to cancel it.
- Infrastructure Funding Delays: As Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Champagne faced criticism for delays in delivering promised infrastructure funding to municipalities across Canada. Critics argued that the delays were causing economic harm and hampering infrastructure projects.
- China Relations: As Foreign Minister, Champagne faced criticism for his handling of Canada’s relationship with China, particularly in the wake of the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Some critics argued that Champagne was too conciliatory towards China and not doing enough to secure the release of two Canadians who were detained by Chinese authorities in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
- Iran Plane Crash Response: In January 2020, a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 people, including 57 Canadians, was shot down by Iranian forces. Critics argued that Champagne and the Canadian government did not respond strongly enough to the incident, and that they should have done more to hold Iran accountable and seek justice for the victims.
- Israel-Palestine Conflict: As Foreign Minister, Champagne faced criticism for his handling of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In particular, some critics argued that he was not doing enough to support the Palestinian cause and promote a two-state solution.
- Travel Restrictions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Champagne faced criticism for the Canadian government’s travel restrictions and quarantine measures. Some argued that the restrictions were too strict and were causing economic harm, while others criticized Champagne for not doing enough to prevent the spread of the virus.