Recent leaks from Canada’s intelligence agency, CSIS, have highlighted China’s illegal influence, interference, and intelligence operations in support of the Liberal government in Ottawa. The Liberals have been quick to go into damage control mode, as they have been benefiting from China’s support.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed more concern with the identity of the whistleblower who exposed the coverup, than with the crimes of Beijing and its witting Canadian agents. Ottawa has been downplaying and hiding this authoritarian influence from the public for years. The names of the 11 winning members of Parliament supported by China have not been released, and no charges have been brought against those involved in the schemes.
The alleged crimes include political campaign donations encouraged by China that accrue tax credits for the donors, who then get refunded the balance from the campaign. This is an outrageous scheme that steals money from taxpayers, including Conservatives, to support the Liberal Party and those few Conservatives seen as “friends of China.”
A China diplomat in Canada claimed to be instrumental in defeating two Conservative MPs, but Trudeau downplayed the claim. He said, “The fact that a Chinese diplomat would try to take credit for things that happened is not something that is unseen in diplomatic circles around the world.” Trudeau’s response is an attempt to obfuscate the facts through an over-generalization.
China’s sophisticated political strategy in Canada maximizes its influence by seeking a Liberal minority government, meaning the Liberals would need to gain support from at least one other political party to remain in power. This keeps Trudeau in power, but keeps him sufficiently off-balance to remain dependent on continued support from the Chinese Communist Party.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has raised further concerns, saying, “Justin Trudeau knew about this interference, and he covered it up because he benefited from it. He’s perfectly happy to let a foreign, authoritarian government interfere in our elections as long as they’re helping him.” The leaked CSIS report said China’s communists wanted Trudeau to lead Canada because they knew “Trudeau would work for their interests rather than Canada’s interests, and that’s why he’s covered up this information for so long.”
Poilievre supports a public registry of foreign agents in Canada, as in the United States and Australia. Some British lawmakers also support such a registry, as it would decrease foreign political influence and election interference, and improve the integrity and public confidence in election processes and results.
Unlike Trudeau, Poilievre has publicly endorsed the idea of a registry, as well as closing the loopholes found elsewhere. Trudeau has ignored years of persistent and unaddressed concerns within the intelligence agencies that not enough is being done to stem the tide of China’s influence operations.
China’s support of liberals can be found in Beijing’s support of U.S. Democrats over Republicans, and the Australian Labor Party over the country’s conservatives. Beijing consistently supports political parties that it considers the lesser of democratic evils, that scrimp on defence in favour of handouts, play the race card when the threat is from the regime in China not the Chinese people, and leave our allies in Asia dependent and defenceless.
It is clear that Trudeau is not taking these issues seriously, as he has not even publicly endorsed the idea of a registry. This explains why the documents were leaked in the first place. In order to combat China’s influence operations, new and tougher political representation is needed.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.