Friday, April 5, 2024

CSIS intel found China attempted to funnel $250K, for election interference


CSIS intel found China attempted to funnel $250K, for election interference

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Ottawa is shown on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. 

CSIS director David Vigneault says his agency had intelligence ahead of the 2019 federal election that the government of China attempted to funnel -- through a network of "threat actors" -- approximately $250,000, possibly to interfere in Canadian elections.

The document was shown Thursay at Canada’s inquiry into foreign election interference, which is examining attempts to meddle in Canadian democracy during the 2019 and 2021 elections.

Global News first reported on these allegations in 2022, citing national security sources.

The CSIS summary says, "11 political candidates and 13 political staff members were assessed to be either implicated in or impacted by this group of threat actors."

The intelligence agency uses the term "threat actors" in the document to refer to officials associated with the government in Beijing working "covertly to advance China's interest through Canadian democratic institutions."

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CSIS says the money was believed to be transferred through “an influential community leader, to the staff member of a 2019 federal election candidate and then to an Ontario MPP.”

Vigneault put the information forward with the caveat that it's an intelligence summary and not necessarily a collection of facts, adding it may require further investigation and context.

He said his words have been “carefully chosen to make sure that they are providing [the] commissioner and Canadians the most accurate possible depiction of what we know while protecting classified information.”

The judge heading the inquiry, Marie-Josee Hogue, also has access to all the secret intelligence that could not be released to the public. She will weigh all of the information while preparing her first report, which is due on May 3.

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