“It’s long past time for the Trudeau government to come forward with a robust plan to counter Beijing’s foreign interference operations here on Canadian soil,” says CPC Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Michael Chong.
The Conservative Party of Canada has released an official statement through Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Michael Chong, responding to highly disturbing reports that CSIS briefed PM Justin Trudeau back in 2019 that China was interfering in Canada’s democracy.
You can read the text of the statement below:
“Conservatives are extremely troubled by a recent media report that Canada has been a target of extensive foreign interference by Beijing in the 2019 election. Intelligence officials informed the Prime Minister and several cabinet ministers about this interference in a series of in briefings in January of this year.
“It’s long past time for the Trudeau government to come forward with a robust plan to counter Beijing’s foreign interference operations here on Canadian soil.
“It’s clear that Beijing spread disinformation in the 2021 federal election campaign through proxies that negatively affected Conservative campaigns in several ridings. It’s also clear in indictments unsealed in U.S. court that Beijing’s agents are operating here on Canadian soil, coercing people to go back to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by threatening their families in the PRC. The unsealed indictments also state that Beijing’s agents operating in the U.S. have pressured U.S. residents to travel to Toronto for more intensive interrogation, suggesting that the PRC views Canada as a safe haven for more intensive operations. More recently, reports have revealed the presence of three illegal PRC police stations operating in Toronto and surrounding areas.
“We now find out that CSIS has concluded that Beijing corrupted political financing laws and interfered in the 2019 election. But to our knowledge, the government has not expelled anyone for these interference operations in Canada, nor has anyone been criminally charged.
“Conservatives have long called for a robust plan, first introducing a motion adopted by the House of Commons on November 18, 2020. Conservatives also pushed to re-establish the Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China Relations this past June, which is mandated to study these and other challenges related to the Canada-People’s Republic of China relationship.
“The biggest victim of these PRC intimidation and interference operations is the Chinese community themselves. The Trudeau government must do more to protect the Chinese community from the PRC’s threats, and to protect Canadian democracy.”
Canada’s weak approach to China has been a long-term problem. Even under the Harper Conservatives, Canada signed a FIPA deal with China (backed by the Liberals and much of the corporate community) that damaged Canadian sovereignty.
However, even as China has become more and more authoritarian and belligerent, Trudeau has remained unwilling to take strong steps to counter China’s attempt to subvert Canadian democracy.
So, it is good to see the Conservatives continuing to take a tougher approach. Michael Chong has long stood up for human rights and democracy, and has even been sanctioned by China, which is a badge of honour.
With Canada needing a strong response to China, the next step for the Conservatives is to push for Canada to rapidly implement a foreign agent registry.
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