MP worried about Chinese claims of influence on Canada's elections

Foreign interference

A recent bombshell story of significant concern is a leaked report from Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) documenting how Chinese government officials and their agents interfered in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections.

A quote from the National Post summarizes the concern.

“According to CSIS documents obtained by the Globe and Mail, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operatives orchestrated cash donations to political campaigns, had business owners hire “volunteers” for specific election campaigns and boasted that it’s “easy” to influence Chinese immigrants to agree with the Peoples Republic of China's (PRC) stance,”

What was the goal of those efforts?
“To install a minority Liberal government.”

According to the documents, support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada was due to the Chinese government viewing the Liberals as more pro-China in contrast to what a potential Conservative government would have been.

The second goal was a minority Parliament because, it was said Beijing “likes it when the parties in Parliament are fighting with each other, whereas if there is a majority, the party in power can easily implement policies that do not favour the PRC.”

Was this clandestine campaign successful in interfering in our Canadian democratic process?
China’s former Consul General stationed in Vancouver stated she “helped defeat two Conservative candidates in 2021.”

The Conservative Party of Canada believes that number is significantly higher and may have contributed to it losing eight or nine electoral districts.

What is the Canadian government doing about this? So far, basically nothing, aside from attempting to downplay the situation and express concern around the leaking of the documents.

I am not suggesting that Chinese government agents stole the election, as I believe Canadian voters ultimately decided the outcome of the last election. However, I am deeply concerned about reports of a foreign government manipulating our democratic process.

If a single electoral district can be manipulated in an election due to foreign interference, we should all be concerned and the government of the day has a responsibility to Canadians to ensure the proper authorities, such as the Commissioner of Elections (who investigates violations) and the RCMP have the evidence they need to prosecute any violations.

As some may have diplomatic immunity, our government should expel any suspects at the very least.

How else can we prevent future violations?

The leader of the official Opposition, (the Conservative Party’s) Pierre Poilievre, supports following the lead of Australia and the United States in creating a foreign agent registry.

That would be similar to the domestic lobbyist registry Canada uses but would apply to individuals in Canada who foreign governments pay to influence our political processes.

For whatever reason, Trudeau has refused to substantially answer questions from journalists and the opposition on this matter and whether he will immediately implement such a registry here in Canada.

Two questions this week:

Are you concerned about potential foreign influence in our elections? Do you support creating a foreign agent registry?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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