June 23rd, 2024

Trudeau says Canadians decided 2021 election outcome in spite of Chinese meddling

By The Canadian Press on February 17, 2023.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs for Nassau, Bahamas, from Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Trudeau is playing down a report that China tried to sway the last federal election, saying Canadian voters alone decided the outcome.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is playing down a report that China tried to sway the last federal election, saying Canadian voters alone decided the outcome.

The Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper, citing classified Canadian Security Intelligence Service records, says China worked to help ensure a Liberal minority victory in the 2021 general election as well as defeat Conservative politicians considered unfriendly to Beijing.

The story says China’s former consul-general in Vancouver boasted in 2021 about how she helped defeat two Conservative MPs.

It says CSIS quoted one Chinese diplomat as saying Beijing likes it when Canadian political parties are fighting with each other, whereas if one has a majority, the party in power can easily implement policies that do not favour China.

The newspaper also says that, according to CSIS, Chinese diplomats are behind undeclared cash donations to campaigns, and have business owners hire international Chinese students and assign them to volunteer in election campaigns.

Neither CSIS nor the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa had immediate comment on the Globe story.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2023.

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