Despite calls from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to rescind Dong's nomination, Trudeau's staff decided to let him run. He won, and now represents Don Valley North in Parliament.
According to Cooper, CSIS began tracking Dong in 2019 after he "suddenly and suspisciously" burst onto the political scene as a potential successor to MP Geng Tan.
The security service went on to allege that Chinese Canadian seniors had been bussed into Dong's riding, and that students had been pressured into voting for him with the threat of losing their visas if they failed to comply.
CSIS alleged that Dong, who managed to win re-elected in 2021, was a "witting affiliate in China’s election interference." The MP has denied the accusations.
"Rather than heeding the alleged CSIS concerns about Dong," Cooper explained, "the party allowed him to proceed in 2019, and he won the seat."
Dong was, according to intelligence obtained by CSIS, preferred by Beijing over his predecessor Geng Tan. The Chinese consulate was apparently "not pleased" with her performance as MP.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre grilled Trudeau over allegations of Chinese election interference in November, however he claimed not to have received any information from CSIS regarding potential funnelling of money from Beijing to Liberal candidates.
Trudeau maintained the same position when asked about Dong by Global News reporters on Friday, and pointed out that Dong "is a strong representative who served his community rhrough the pandemic and consistently works to make life better for people, including calling out discrimination that is too often targeted at the Chinese Canadian community."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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