Article by CBC News
Two Quebec employees with the Montreal-based equestrian multimedia show Cavalia have been imprisoned in China for allegedly smoking marijuana and are facing deportation, Radio-Canada has learned.
On July 14, Chinese police visited a hotel in Beijing where the Cavalia team was staying, and tested them for marijuana use. There were a number of arrests of members of the show’s technical team, including two Quebecers who are still in prison. It’s not clear if other members of the technical team, of other nationalities, were also imprisoned.
According to Radio-Canada, the Canadian government’s emergency consular assistance service was contacted the day after the arrests, but consular assistance wasn’t delivered until July 18.
A diplomatic source told CBC’s French-language service that the two employees are expected to be deported from China in the coming days, and Chinese authorities have asked Cavalia to buy those employees return tickets.
Little information available
Eric Paquette, spokesperson for Cavalia, initially told Radio-Canada on Thursday morning that he couldn’t confirm or deny the information. He said later on Thursday that “employees” had “concerns” with Chinese authorities, and he said he wouldn’t go into more detail to protect employees’ privacy and not “hurt their ability to be repatriated.”
“It’s very important in our company policy to follow the laws of the country where we produce shows,” he said.