China infiltrated local and federal political leadership races in Canada: intelligence report

The classified document does not identify the candidate in question but only calls him "CA3."


According to a top secret report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) a leadership candidate for a provincial political party met with Chinese agents at a Chinese consulate in 2022 to secure their support.

Journalist Sam Cooper, reporting in The Bureau, details how a CSIS "Intelligence Assessment" from Oct. 31, 2022 explored the many ways in which communist Chinese agents are utilized to influence leaders of Canadian political parties at all levels.

The classified document does not identify the candidate in question but only calls him "CA3." However, given the date range of the CSIS investigation, Cooper argues that the individual had to be running for either the Bristish Columbia New Democratic Party (BC NDP) or the Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) since both had leadership races during that period.

China has four consulates in Canada, located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Both the BC NDP and the Alberta UCP denied that a candidate met secretly with Chinese officials during their respective leadership races. 

"We are not aware of any leadership candidate participating in any such meeting," UCP spokesman Dave Prisco emailed The Bureau. "The UCP has stringent procedures."

"Our verification and voting processes during the leadership contest were overseen by third-party auditors, scrutineers, and were streamed live on a publicly available webcam 24/7, ensuring unparalleled transparency and accountability."

The BC NDP also rejected the premise. 

"All of the allegations presented are completely false," the BC Premier David Eby  spokesperson Jimmy Smith emailed The Bureau.

"There is absolutely no truth to the assertion that Premier Eby had any meetings with or invited support from the Chinese Consulate, or any of their representatives, during his time as a candidate for the leadership of the BC NDP. The publishing of such an assertion is defamatory."

In July 2022, the Chinese-language publication Rise Media published an article written by TV broadcaster Ding Guo who heartily endorsed Eby's leadership candidacy.

Eby had once been critical of China's appetite for Vancouver real estate, The Bureau notes, but had apologized for his previous statements. 

The issue of Chinese election interference has been prompted by other CSIS revelations that China was actively engaged in supporting the election of – mostly Liberal – Members of Parliament in the Greater Toronto Area and could have helped Prime Minister Justin Trudeau win a minority government in 2021. 

Trudeau appointed former Governor General David Johnston as a "special rapporteur" to investigate the interference but Johnston resigned after massive pushback from both Opposition parties and the media because he was an old friend of the Trudeau family and a former member of the Pierre Trudeau Foundation. 

The prime minister subsequently appointed Justice Marie-Josée Hogue to investigate Canada's 2019 and 2021 federal elections but not provincial or municipal elections. 

According to The Bureau, the CSIS document suggests the Chinese communists tried to exercise financial influence on the 2022 Conservative Party of Canada leadership race. It also says China and other states hostile to Canada use diaspora communities to influence elections at all levels of government. 

As The Bureau notes, critics of Chinese interference have long said BC—with a large Chinese-Canadian community—is home to much of it.

China has also operated "police stations" in Canadian cities that target Chinese dissidents and critics of the communist state. CSIS has called these offices an "arsenal of interference" 

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