Chinese interference: Ex-MP says Trudeau needs to do more

A Conservative politician who says he was targeted in China’s effort to defeat the Conservatives during the 2021 federal elections has accused the Liberal government of “limping” and is open to foreign interference. I’m looking for more than a “point of issue” to deal with.

“The government doesn’t seem to have the urgency and understanding of how pressing this issue is,” former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu told Vasi Kapelos on the CTV news channel’s Power Play. said in an interview with Mr.

Citing recent examples beyond election interference, such as the recent installation of Chinese spy balloons and so-called Chinese police stations, Mr. Qiu accused liberals of sworn research.

“This government does not appear to be taking any substantial firm action,” he said.

Last week, The Globe and Mail reported that China was “sophisticated strategyThe outcome of Canada’s 2021 general election will depend on it.

The newspaper reported, citing CSIS documents it had seen, that the Chinese government was trying to defeat Conservative politicians considered unfriendly to the Chinese government and win the re-election of the Liberal Party as a minority government. .

Chiu’s name was specifically mentioned in the article, and unnamed sources said he was targeted as part of retaliation for Congress’ push for Canada to create a foreign agent register. He told The Grove that he was forced to

CTV News has not independently verified the Globe report, but this week a congressional committee was prompted to expand its research into foreign electoral interference in the last two federal elections. Opposition lawmakers have expressed concerns about the Liberal government’s transparency over potential foreign intervention.

In another panel on Wednesday’s show, former CSIS director Ward Elcock and former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques both said China’s interference in Canadian affairs has increased significantly since they came to power. said it does. Elcock served as ambassador from 1994 until 2004, when he headed CSIS, and from 2012, when he served as ambassador to Saint-Jacques.

“When I was an ambassador, I knew they were trying to influence some politicians…mainly at the state and federal level. It goes one step further and this is very worrying,” Saint-Jacques said.

“Very subtle yet very complex”: CHIU

In an interview, Qiu said his claims to support registration were portrayed as “anti-Chinese” and related personal attacks were circulated by his voters and on Chinese social media via WeChat.

Chiu described the disinformation campaign he faced as “very subtle, yet very complex.”

“It’s very difficult to detect and very difficult to counter,” he said, referring to a “disinformation campaign aimed at undermining Conservative MP and then-leader Erin O’Toole.” He talked about what he says is the ‘network’.

Elected in 2019 in Steveston-Richmond East, British Columbia, Chiu won 33.5% of the vote, losing to liberal Palm Baines, who secured 42.5% of the vote.

He said he told CSIS about his experience after they approached him to gather information. During the 2021 election, he shared information collected by election staff and volunteers.

CSIS spokesperson Brandon Champagne said in a statement to CTV News provided ahead of Chiu’s interview that the Federal Intelligence Service takes allegations of foreign interference in Canada’s democracy “very seriously.” It said it would accept it and use its authority to investigate and mitigate these threats.

Champagne noted that CSIS is working with a number of stakeholders, including elected officials, to raise awareness of “secret and deceptive activities” carried out by China and the ruling Communist Party of China.

“Canada’s electoral system is strong, but foreign intervention can undermine trust and threaten democratic institutions, political institutions, fundamental rights and freedoms, and ultimately sovereign integrity,” he said. , pointing to a series of reports and warnings issued in recent years about the “serious threat” posed to Canada’s security by foreign interference.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of the work done by the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) task force set up by the Liberal Party to monitor federal election threats during the 2019 and 2021 campaigns. Faced with questions about the limited amount of information shared publicly..

The prime minister should reassure Canadians that a bipartisan commission of high-ranking civil servants determined that the integrity of these elections was preserved and that alleged interference did not affect the outcome. Stated.

“This does not mean that there has been no interference. [at] It’s a constant interference by countries like China,” he said.

Trudeau also said this should not be a partisan issue and that no political party should “seek partisan gain by undermining people’s confidence in our system”. .

“Canadians can and should have trust and confidence in their institutions, no matter how they feel about which party happens to be in power,” the Prime Minister said.

Using Spencer Van Dyk and Caroline O’Neill files from CTV News

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