Wednesday, November 16, 2022

What national security documents has Trudeau been hiding regarding 2019 Election Interference

What national security documents has Trudeau been hiding regarding 2019 Election Interference affecting 11MP's now confirmed 10 months ago, that stemmed from China.

Just how close is/was Trudeau Xi & the Communist Chinese, Canadians are now asking.

10 months after the PM was briefed about CCP interference in the 2019 election, no action has been taken. The CPC tried to get the PM to hand over docs about these briefings. In a blatant coverup of the PM's inaction, the NDP/Libs watered down our motion to produce the docs

Election interference

In an effort to counter foreign interference against the 2019 Federal Election, the Government created the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, composed of officials from CSE, CSIS, RCMP, and GAC. As members of the SITE Task Force, CSIS was involved in efforts to raise awareness and assess foreign interference threats against the 2019 and 2021 Federal Elections, and the RCMP provided law enforcement expertise. The SITE Task Force continues their work as threats to democratic institutions, such as foreign interference and disinformation, especially by China have not abated.


Exclusive Investigation: Canadian intelligence briefs alleged that China's [Toronto Consulate] covertly funded a clandestine network of CCP-affiliated candidates in the 2019 federal election |

Canadian intelligence officials have warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that China has been targeting Canada with a vast campaign of foreign interference, which includes funding a clandestine network of at least 11 federal candidates, there could be more, running in the 2019 election, according to Global News sources.

Delivered to the prime minister and several cabinet members in a series of briefings and memos first presented in January, the allegations included other detailed examples of Beijing’s efforts to further its influence and, in turn, subvert Canada’s democratic process, sources said.

Based on recent information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), those efforts allegedly involve payments through intermediaries to candidates affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), placing agents into the offices of MPs in order to influence policy, seeking to co-opt and corrupt former Canadian officials to gain leverage in Ottawa, and mounting aggressive campaigns to punish Canadian politicians whom the People’s Republic of China (PRC) views as threats to its interests.

CSIS told Global News it could not answer some questions for this story. But the service confirmed it has identified the PRC’s foreign interference in Canada, which can include covert funding to influence election outcomes.

 “The Chinese Communist Party … is using all elements of state power to carry out activities that are a direct threat to our national security and sovereignty,” CSIS stated.

The briefings did not identify the 2019 candidates. But the alleged election interference network included members from both the Liberal and Conservative parties, according to sources with knowledge of the briefs.

Global News was not able to confirm from the sources which cabinet ministers may have been privy to the briefs nor the specific timing that the information was reportedly shared.

Click to play video: 'Canada ‘creating new tools’ to protect institutions against China, others seeking to influence elections'
Canada ‘creating new tools’ to protect institutions against China, others seeking to influence elections

Chief among the allegations is that CSIS reported that China’s Toronto consulate directed a large clandestine transfer of funds to a network of at least eleven federal election candidates and numerous Beijing operatives who worked as their campaign staffers.

The funds were allegedly transferred through an Ontario provincial MPP and a federal election candidate staffer. Separate sources aware of the situation said a CCP proxy group, acting as an intermediary, transferred around $250,000.

The 2022 briefs said that some, but not all, members of the alleged network are witting affiliates of the Chinese Communist Party. The intelligence did not conclude whether CSIS believes the network successfully influenced the October 2019 election results, sources say.

CSIS can capture its findings through warrants that allow electronic interception of communications among Chinese consulate officials and Canadian politicians and staffers.

Sources close to this situation say they are revealing details from the 2022 briefs to give Canadians a clearer understanding of China’s attacks on Canada’s democratic system. Out of fear of retribution, they have asked their names be withheld.

In response to the briefing details, experts say the alleged interference points to weakness in Canada’s outdated espionage and counterintelligence laws, which sophisticated interference networks run by China, Russia and Iran are exploiting.

Still, the 2022 intelligence asserts that China conducts more foreign interference than any other nation, and interference threats to Canada increased in 2015 when Chinese president Xi Jinping elevated the CCP’s so-called United Front influence networks abroad.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) did not answer a series of questions from Global News, including whether or not Prime Minister Trudeau was briefed in 2022 on Canadian intelligence that China had covertly funded a clandestine network of candidates in the 2019 election.

It also did not respond to a question on the need for tighter federal rules against foreign influence on Canadian politics.

“Protecting Canadians’ security is our top priority. Threats, harassment, or intimidation of Canadian citizens are unacceptable, and all allegations of interference are investigated thoroughly by our security agencies,” a statement from the PMO said. “As threats evolve, so must the methods used to address them. That is why the Prime Minister has given the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, the mandate to improve collaboration between Canadian security agencies.”

Click to play video: 'China responds to Trudeau, Global News investigation, says it has no interest in ‘Canada’s internal affairs’'
China responds to Trudeau, Global News investigation, says it has no interest in ‘Canada’s internal affairs’

“We simply don’t have a prosecutorial end game to deal with foreign interference,” said Dan Stanton, a former CSIS officer who studies Chinese interference, but isn’t privy to recent CSIS reporting. “The sophistication of the threat: it is not the guy with the fedora and black coat, like the old days with the KGB. The whole point of influence networks is that anyone can be used by a foreign state as a co-optee, or agent, or source.”

Stanton and other experts told Global News that CSIS benefits from modernized counter-terror laws that have enabled the service to mitigate terror planning and funding networks since 9/11, but Canada’s espionage laws are stuck in the Cold War era.

“So, until we make legislative changes on interference,” Stanton said, “it’s just CSIS telling our politicians, ‘Hey, be careful out there.'”

In April 2021, a private members bill in the House of Commons called for a foreign influence registry, but it did not become law.

Kenny Chiu, the B.C. Conservative MP who wrote the bill, was subsequently targeted by the CCP’s election interference network, sources said. Chiu says his law would have compelled anyone working for hostile regimes, such as Russia and Iran and China, to declare their interests, and this transparency would protect Canada’s democracy.

The Toronto Consulate and Chinese officials in Ottawa did not respond to questions from Global News about allegations in the 2022 briefs.

Money and influence

Interference on Canadian soil is orchestrated by the CCP’s powerful United Front Work Department, which mobilizes large sections of society abroad to fulfill Chinese Communist Party objectives, according to the 2022 briefs.

United Front operations can include politicians, media, business, student and community groups, and are aimed at consolidating support for CCP policy as well as targeting critics and the causes of ethnic groups seen as “poisons” by the CCP, such as Uyghurs and Tibetans.

Several federal candidates from Canada’s 2019 federal election met with China-based United Front Work Department officials, the intelligence alleges, but did not identify the politicians.

While Xi’s United Front is not itself an espionage agency, intelligence briefs allege its networks in Canada facilitate interference operations by China’s foreign espionage service, the Ministry of State Security.

The briefs also reported that Xi’s United Front operates through Chinese consulates in Canada, from which officials direct funds into Canada’s political system, using CCP proxies.

The CSIS briefs also point to the 2014 imbroglio over Toronto District School Board’s partnership with the Confucius Institute, China’s controversial state-funded, culture-education program. Many parents, teachers and students opposed the involvement of these schools, which are guided by the United Front Work Department, according to the U.S. State Department.

According to the briefs, the Toronto Chinese Consulate allegedly transferred $1 million to unidentified proxy groups, which in turn organized protests to support the continued integration of the program into Toronto’s district school board system. That effort ultimately failed when the TDSB voted to sever its ties to the organization.

But China’s alleged United Front campaigns extend beyond financing to the co-opting of politicians and harassment of critics.

One of the more dramatic allegations from the briefs pertained to a pivotal February 2021 vote in the House of Commons, in which members would either support or reject a United Nations resolution declaring China’s treatment of the Uyghur people a genocide.

The intelligence also alleges that, in the aftermath of the House vote, Chinese intelligence agents conducted in-depth background research into MPs who voted in favour of the resolution, declaring China guilty of genocide.

The agents studied the ridings of specific, targeted MPs in order to learn what industries and companies were present and whether these companies had economic links to China.

The objective was to judge whether China could leverage the local economies of Canadian politicians seen as the CCP’s enemies, sources said.

In addition, it was alleged that before the September 2021 federal election, a small number of MPs reported they feared for their families and their reputations and believed they were being targeted in operations to hurt their election chances.

One of the MPs whom the CCP allegedly targeted, MP Kenny Chiu, said he believes Chinese agents succeeded in smearing him as a racist in WeChat and Mandarin-language media reports. As the member from Steveston-Richmond, Chiu had advocated for transparent elections in Hong Kong, voted in favour of declaring China’s actions in Xinjiang a genocide, and tabled his April 2021 bill calling for a foreign influence registry.

“The CCP didn’t have to send me a death threat, they just tried to kill my political career,” Chiu said in an interview.

“So ahead of the 2021 election, I was given a distancing treatment by Chinese-language media. And during the campaign people were shutting the door in my face. The messages I was getting were, ‘Kenny Chiu is a racist. Kenny is Anti-Asian.’”

Some pundits, however, argued that Chiu swung his riding for the Conservatives in 2019 and the riding simply reverted to the Liberals two years later.

Chinese intelligence in the field

The 2022 briefs alleged that one official in Toronto’s Chinese Consulate directed a 2019 federal election-campaign staffer to control and monitor their candidates’ meetings. These efforts included preventing meetings with representatives of Taiwan, a democratic country that Beijing claims is a renegade province.

This kind of interference extends to elected officials as well, according to the briefs, which referred to instances in which clandestine operatives were placed alongside elected officials in an attempt to control the policy choices of federal MPs.

“I’m not surprised at all,” said Harry Tseng, Taiwan’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and top diplomat in Ottawa. “This type of activity is directed from Beijing in many consulates abroad. I think China can be that coercive because they have a very comprehensive list of Canadian politicians.

And when they can find a connection to China, they can pull a string to influence the Canadians.”

The 2022 briefs also detailed Chinese intelligence efforts to infiltrate, surveil and “mess with” Chinese diaspora communities.

Fenella Sung, a Hong Kong Canadian community leader in Vancouver, said she has long believed that Chinese intelligence has infiltrated Canadian diaspora groups, by using business inducements and “subtle psychological warfare.”

She also believes that China’s United Front controls and funds an “interchangeable” network of candidates and nominations in some British Columbia and Ontario ridings.

Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, a Uyghur-Canadian activist, said many in her community believe Chinese agents monitored and harassed them. She provided photos from her December 2021 Facebook posting that showed one alleged incident. In the post, Matsedik-Qira says she was protesting outside the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver when a van pulled up, and two men jumped out.

“One of them spit on me and said, “I wish all your people dead,” she said.

“I’m scared and worried for my safety. I think he is connected to the Chinese Consulate, for sure. The Consulate has many people in Canada working for China.”

Coerced Repatriations

The 2022 briefs also shed light on the PRC’s so-called Fox Hunt, a high-profile international campaign in President Xi’s efforts to battle corruption and persuade economic fugitives to return to China.

National security experts argue the Fox Hunt is less about battling corruption and more about the CCP extending tentacles of repression into diaspora communities abroad and clamping down on rivals and dissidents.

The 2022 briefs alleged that one of China’s Fox Hunt targets in Canada had connections to the Politburo, the CCP’s elite inner circle of leaders.

Concern was raised in 2020 when a Chinese police agent worked with a Canadian police officer to repatriate an economic fugitive. In another coerced repatriation, Chinese police brought a Fox Hunt target’s brother and father into Canada and would not allow them to return to China unless the economic fugitive also agreed to return, the 2022 briefs alleged.

A new report from the Spanish human rights NGO SafeGuard Defenders bolsters these suspicions, identifying three alleged secret Chinese police stations in Toronto, among 50 similar worldwide, which are used to repatriate Fox Hunt targets. SafeGuard Defenders cited Chinese state records that connect the Toronto locations to police bureaus in Fujian province.

Dan Stanton, the former CSIS official, and David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China, said that Canada is more exposed than other Western democracies to China’s interference, and yet as the United States, UK and Australia strengthen their counter-interference laws and ramp up investigations into Xi’s United Front networks, Ottawa remains strangely inactive.

“The two most worrying aspects of this are direct interference in our electoral process, and we’re now seeing evidence of this,” Mulroney said, “and harassment of people in Canada of Uyghur and Tibetan origin who have vulnerable relatives back home.”

Global News also described some of the allegations sources say were briefed to Trudeau in 2022, including China’s election interference and targeting of MPs and diaspora communities in Canada, to Dennis Molinaro, a former senior CSIS analyst and expert on foreign interference, who now teaches legal studies at Ontario Tech University.

Molinaro said if the CSIS intelligence warnings sources say were provided to Trudeau are confirmed as accurate, they raise concerns about why the government hasn’t yet responded by tabling new legislation to counter the threats.

“The level of foreign interference activity you describe is serious and alarming,” Molinaro said. “And if confirmed, the level of interference you describe says to me that foreign adversaries understand the legislative loopholes that exist in Canada and are taking full advantage of them.”


A prominent businessman in Toronto’s Chinese community is the subject of two separate investigations involving foreign interference, sources tell Global News, both related to a series of briefings and memos that Canadian security officials allegedly gave to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau beginning in January.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has investigated Wei Chengyi for his alleged role in a covert scheme that facilitated large-fund transfers meant to advance Beijing’s interests in Canada’s 2019 federal election, sources said.

According to RCMP sources, national security investigators are also probing Wei for links to several properties in Toronto and Vancouver  used as  Chinese government “police stations,which are believed to secretly host agents from China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS.)

READ MORE: Canadian intelligence warned PM Trudeau that China covertly funded 2019 election candidates, sources say

The owner of the Ontario and British Columbia supermarket chain Foody Mart, Wei is also “permanent honorary chairman” of the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations (CTCCO), a local umbrella group for dozens of associations that promotes ties to Beijing and consular officials.

Wei has not yet responded to repeated phone calls from Global News, emails or two, hand-delivered letters with detailed questions about the two alleged probes or his relationship with the Chinese government.

But in a brief phone response from CTCCO, a man who identified himself to a Global News reporter as a CTCCO official said that allegations that Wei and CTCCO are involved in a Chinese foreign-interference campaign are “nonsense.”

“No, we are never involved in those allegations,” the unidentified CTCCO official said. “I don’t want to give my name. But don’t use those allegations without evidence.”

No criminal charges have been laid against Wei.

Officials from the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and the Toronto Consulate did not respond to questions about Wei and the CTCCO.

Click to play video: 'Size of alleged Chinese interference in Canada ‘astonishing’: experts'
Size of alleged Chinese interference in Canada ‘astonishing’: experts

Global News reported last week that early this year, sources say Canadian intelligence officials started briefing Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers that the People’s Republic of China has allegedly been targeting Canada with a vast campaign of foreign interference, including attempts to influence the 2019 federal election.

One of the specific allegations detailed the funding of a clandestine network that involved at least 11 federal candidates running in the contest, according to Global News sources.

The briefing did not identify the politicians in the running, but Global News independently confirmed through separate sources that members of the alleged network — which sources say include federal campaign staffers — represented both Liberal and Conservative parties.

Responding to questions about the briefings last week, Prime Minister Trudeau did not acknowledge receiving the intelligence but did accuse China and other countries of playing “aggressive games” with democracies and insisted his government has taken significant measures to strengthen the integrity of the elections process.

READ MORE: Chinese President Xi confronts Trudeau for sharing details of G20 conversation

At the G20 summit Tuesday, a government source disclosed to media that Trudeau privately discussed interference among other issues with China’s President Xi Jinping. But on Wednesday, Xi chided the Canadian PM for publicly disclosing the conversations, and disputed the content of their previous discussions.

“That’s not appropriate,” Xi said.

On Tuesday, foreign minister Melanie Joly told reporters she raised the issue with her Chinese counterpart and warned that Canada would not accept “any form of meddling in our governments, in our elections, and we won’t tolerate any form of foreign interferences.”

The Cash Flow

As part of the 2022 briefings, intelligence sources say that CSIS also warned Trudeau and several cabinet members that the Chinese government uses local proxies to transfer significant sums of money aimed at helping the PRC advance its agenda.

Even if allegations regarding Wei’s role as an actor for the Chinese Communist Party are proven to be true, there is no foreign interference law prohibiting him from doing so.

The allegations highlight escalating tension between a government that seems reluctant to rankle Canada’s second-largest trading partner, China, and a security establishment seeking tighter rules against foreign interference.

“Unlike its partners in Australia and the United States, Canada lacks a method by which to effectively register and track the activities of those who are acting on the behalf of the interests of foreign states, as well as an effective means by which to punish interference,” said Akshay Singh, a security scholar with the Council on International Policy. “Absent these guidelines, proxies or ‘co-optees’ can work on behalf of the interests of a foreign government, with little scrutiny.”

A bipartisan panel of parliamentarians in Ottawa has repeatedly recommended the Trudeau government table such laws. Police and intelligence officers have been warning senior Canadian officials since at least 2010 about China’s aggressive incursions, sources said, including secret Ministry of Public Security repatriation operations.

Sources aware of investigations into the alleged covert funding methods that CSIS believes the Toronto consulate uses allege that Wei and the organization he’s tied to, the CTCCO, acted as intermediaries in the covert funding activity in 2019.

The sources alleged Wei and CTCCO transferred about $250,000 from the consulate to an Ontario MPP and a federal candidate staffer, who in turn distributed the funds to the 11 or more candidates and other campaign staffers.

Warrants cleared by federal judges allow CSIS to intercept communications of Chinese consulate officials; by extension, these intercepts might capture politicians and staffers who might be in contact with the diplomats.

Responding to questions from Global News, a lawyer for the MPP in question said the allegations are untrue, and stated: “Be advised that the allegations that a sitting member of the Provincial Legislature and loyal Canadian is treasonous and an operative of a foreign power is clearly defamatory.”

Click to play video: 'Former Hydro-Québec researcher accused of spying for China appears in Longueuil court'
Former Hydro-Québec researcher accused of spying for China appears in Longueuil court

The alleged 2022 briefing also references an alleged $1-million transfer in 2014 from the Toronto Consulate to unidentified local proxy groups to finance rallies in favour of the Toronto District School Board’s doomed deal with the Confucius Institute, a cultural education program which the U.S. State Department contends is run by the United Front Work Department.

The United Front Work Department is a primary organ of President Xi’s vast, global-interference campaigns, according to the 2022 briefs. However, Beijing has denied that it uses the United Front to support Chinese Communist Party policy abroad, and last week Chinese officials said the nation doesn’t interfere in Canadian affairs.

Sources with awareness of CSIS probes allege that Wei and CTCCO are among the unidentified, local proxies who received part of the $1 million disbursed by the Toronto Consulate.

In an interview, former Asia-Pacific desk CSIS officer Michel Juneau-Katsuya said he voluntarily provided testimony to a TDSB committee arguing against the deal in 2014, which ultimately fell through after much grassroots protest from parents and pro-democracy members of the Chinese community.

“The Confucius Institutes do represent a threat for the Canadian government,” Juneau-Katsuya commented at the Oct. 1, 2014, hearing.

Juneau-Katsuya, who was not with CSIS but working privately as a security consultant in 2014, said he cited open-source records to allege that Wei and the CTCCO are linked to the United Front Work Department.

However, at these hearings in 2014, some community leaders reportedly countered that Confucius Institutes would benefit Canada and enrich language and cultural programs outside of school hours.

Juneau-Katsuya said he is not surprised by the allegations reported by Global News from the 2022 briefs. He said CSIS and the RCMP have been monitoring “very aggressive operational initiatives coming from the Toronto Chinese Consulate for several decades.”

When approached for comment for this story, however, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendocino’s office appeared to downplay the severity of CSIS’s alleged 2022 briefs.

“We established a non-partisan panel to evaluate influence and interference in 2019,” wrote spokesman Alexander Cohen. “The panel announced their findings after both the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, stating clearly that they did not detect foreign interference threatening Canada’s ability to have a free and fair election.”

Stations linked to Fujian police bureaus

A report issued by the Spanish human-rights group SafeGuard Defenders identified more than 50 police stations worldwide allegedly used for Operation Fox Hunt. The group cited Chinese state records to link the locations to police bureaus in Fujian, a Mainland province.

The SafeGuard findings say that three secret stations are in the Greater Toronto Area, and RCMP sources have alleged to Global News that Wei Chengyi has ties to two of them.

Launched by President Xi Jinping in 2014, Fox Hunt is billed by CCP as a worldwide program to repatriate fugitive tycoons and corrupt officials who’ve absconded with ill-gotten gains.

Enforcement officials such as FBI director Christopher Wray, however, take a different view. “Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by General Secretary Xi to target Chinese nationals whom he sees as threats and who live outside China, across the world,” he said two years ago. “We’re talking about political rivals, dissidents, and critics seeking to expose China’s extensive human rights violations.”

In the 2022 briefs, CSIS echoed the allegation, explaining that Chinese police have been running “forced repatriation” operations as part of Fox Hunt but did not identify any locations or suspects, intelligence sources familiar with the information say.

According to SafeGuard, the three stations are located in Markham and Scarborough — Toronto suburbs with large, politically diverse communities of Chinese expatriates — and are related to Fox Hunt activities.

Canadian national security units are deeply concerned, sources said, because agents of the MPS, a national security and foreign espionage arm for Beijing, are suspected to be covertly operating from these stations. Sources added that MPS agents view Canada as an easy operating environment for Chinese state actors.

However, in a response sent to the Guardian last week about the stations identified by SafeGuard, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa confirmed the addresses but rejected the notion these locations are nesting areas for secret police agents.

Instead, the embassy insisted the stations provided community outreach for expatriates: “For services such as driver’s license renewal, it is necessary to have eyesight, hearing and physical examination.

National security investigators are also looking into Wei’s connection to a suspected location in Vancouver, which investigators did not identify. Global News could not independently verify its existence.

Also In an effort to independently verify the allegations regarding the Toronto locations, Global News searched for land-title records for one property in Scarborough and one in Markham that RCMP sources allege Wei has ties to.

One of the title searches did not turn up any overt connection to Wei. But the second, a low-rise office at 220 Royal Crest Court, a Markham industrial plaza, listed Canada Toronto Fuqing Business Association as its owner. The office building was empty when a Global News reporter visited the location to seek comment on Monday.

That association has ties to the CTCCO: Wei and another CTCCO leader are named on its website as their permanent honorary chairmen. An employee told Global News on Monday that Wei also could not be reached at a Toronto business address listed on the Fuqing website.

The Fuqing group was started in June 2019, its website said, under the guidance of the United Front Work Department and various Fujian government agencies.

The RCMP did not respond directly to questions about Wei’s alleged connection to the secret Chinese police stations.

“The RCMP is actively investigating reports of criminal activity in relation to the so-called ‘police” stations,’” a statement said. “As the RCMP is currently investigating the incident, there will be no further comment on the matter at this time.”

CSIS also did not respond to questions about Wei, saying that in order to preserve the integrity of its operations, it was unable to comment on the specifics of its investigations.

But, responding to general questions about Fox Hunt operations and CSIS investigations into China’s foreign interference, CSIS told Global News that Fox Hunt is a “global covert” tool of Xi’s repression abroad, and the United Front Work Department facilitates these state-backed operations.

These activities constitute a threat to Canada’s security, sovereignty and to the safety of all Canadians,” a November 2022 CSIS statement said.

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