The Vancouver Logistics Park opened its doors at the end of July in Surrey, British Columbia after years of planning between the Chinese and provincial governments. 

To date, only 80,000 square feet of the facility has been completed but the entire project will be a massive 470,000 square feet centre and will house exhibition arenas, warehouses and business spaces. 

Beijing first proposed the project as part of its global Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to spread China’s economic power via infrastructure developments and partnerships abroad. 

The development is being completed by World Commerce Valley, a company belonging to Hong-Kong Based Shing Kee Dodown Group. 

Construction first began in 2018 after former BC Liberal premier Christy Clark signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese province of Guangdong. 

Among those who attended the opening ceremonies for the facility were BC Minister of Trade George Chow, chairman of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations Wei Renmin and representatives from various industry and cultural groups. 

The opening comes as tensions between China and Canada continue to escalate and renewed concerns about Chinese foreign interference in Canada’s politics and in the Chinese diaspora community. 

BC-based journalist Victor Ho was recently paid a visit by Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers after he was blacklisted by the Chinese government for opposing the takeover of Hong Kong. 

Ho was placed on a “wanted list” by China after attending a July event in which activists and community leaders announced a Hong Kong “parliament in exile.” 

“How come our government keeps silent so long?” said Ho of Liberal government inaction on foreign interference. 

“They have full responsibility to take care of the safety of citizens because they are elected by the voters, that is you and me.”