John McCallum says making the move from immigration minister to ambassador to China isn’t as big a leap as people might think.
He pointed to his wife, who is Chinese, and to constituents in his Markham-Thornhill riding, many of whom are also of Chinese descent.
“So in my personal life, in my work life, and with visits to China, I have lived and breathed things Chinese for a long, long time,” he told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle.
McCallum said the appointment first came up in a conversation with the prime minister last week.
“He spoke about the importance of a knowledge of China, and also a link to his office that I would have,” McCallum said.