The deal was finalized on Friday during a meeting between Prentice, China's State Forestry Administrator Jia Zhibang -- who's responsible for panda negotiations -- and Canadian Ambassador David Mulroney, among other officials.
"I will pick out a couple of nice pandas for Canada," Jia told Prentice at the end of the meeting, according to the Calgary MP.
Charles Burton: We have been trying to get pandas since the Trudeau era. The pair of beavers that Trudeau took on his first visit to China as PM only got us a pair of some sort of Chinese elk in return if my memory serves. The last beaver died in the Beijing Zoo in 1991 when I was head of the Cultural Section at the Embassy
Charles Burton: p.s. After I sent in my obituary of the last beaver to Ottawa a number of people with cottages urged that we arrange for their beavers to be sent to Beijing as replacements!
Charles Burton: Their conditions at the Beijing Zoo were not good. I regarded them as a consular case