crime that’s happening in Canada is transnational and it’s not just the Chinese,” he says. “It’s the Russians, it’s the Iranians, it’s the Mexicans, it’s the Colombians, it’s the Nigerians. It’s all of these different transnational crime groups that are operating in Canada, and Canada has no strategy for dealing with transnational crime.” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino recently revealed that he was briefed about unofficial overseas Chinese police stations in Canada only within the past year. The Epoch Times reported this week that a post about one such location in Richmond, B.C., was published online by a regional Chinese police bureau as early as 2020. This raises questions about whether the agencies were aware of this open-source information, and only learned about this Chinese Communist Party (CCP) threat at the same time as the media, after NGO Safeguard Defenders released a report on the overseas stations in September 2022. Phil Gurski, a veteran of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), suggested that the agencies may have briefed senior officials, but the information was not passed on to the minister out of fear of upsetting Canada-PRC [People’s Republic of China] relations. Scott McGregor, a former Canadian Armed Forces intelligence operator who also served as an intelligence adviser to the RCMP, is confident Canada’s security agencies have been aware of these overseas police operations for years, but the issue didn’t get government attention due to lack of political will. He noted that the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) partnered with China’s Public Security Bureau to train Chinese police in the province beginning early last decade, and the RCMP announced in October 2022 that it was investigating the overseas Chinese police stations in Canada. So far, the force has publicly confirmed the presence of four such stations in Canada, and Safeguard Defenders says it is aware of five of them. The RCMP Commissioner has said that uniformed officers have visited the four confirmed stations in Canada so that the public can see the “visible presence” of police, which she says would lead to the public sharing more information with the RCMP. However, Conservative MP Garnett Genuis questions why no one “has been expelled or arrested” so far. McGregor says Canada’s naivete on the issue is best characterized by how the JIBC partnered with China’s Public Security Bureau to train Chinese police in the province beginning early last decade. He observed this reluctance to take on issues related to China first-hand in the mid-2010s when he was working in law enforcement in B.C., where there are major CCP-linked fentanyl-trafficking and money laundering operations through casinos and real estate transactions, driving the province’s rampant opioid crisis. Gurski concurs there’s a general sense in the intelligence community that there exists an unwillingness within the political class to deal with the China threat. He noted that a joint report by the RCMP and CSIS in 1997 titled Project Sidewinder warned about the CCP’s infiltration, influence, and espionage operations in Canada through means such as using criminal gangs and business tycoons, but a 2000 publication by the Security Intelligence Review Committee dismissed the concerns raised in the Sidewinder report. Minister Mendicino’s revelation at the Feb. 6 committee meeting on when he learned about the overseas stations was in response to a question from Genuis. Genuis questions why action hasn’t already been taken on the file, and wonders if the minister did not have information he needed to do this job, or if he did not act on that information early enough. Scott McGregor says uniformed RCMP officers showing up at the Chinese police stations in Canada is only a measure to appease the public and make it look like law enforcement is taking some action to restore public confidence. He says the public is becoming more aware of the lack of action, and that Canada has no strategy for dealing with transnational crime.