China interference on Canadian elections, Trudeau: ‘Those who attack the Chinese are racists’
TORONTO – He is isolated and goes on the attack: after everyone – political analysts, opposition figures and even allies like NDP leader Jagmeet Singh – advised him to open a commission of public inquiry into the (alleged) interference of the China on the Canadian federal elections, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau goes his own way and, in defending the liberal Chinese deputy who fell into the storm, accuses of racism those who support this hypothesis and spares no “picks” against the CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, “guilty” of having warned the government of the possibility of Chinese infiltration in Canadian politics.
As we wrote in yesterday’s article, Global News reported that Liberal MP from Toronto Han Dong would benefit from the help of the Consulate of China in getting the Liberals nomination as the party’s candidate ahead of the elections of 2019. And he would be among those who would also have received economic aid to get to the election.
According to Global News, these are indications that emerge from the reports that the CSIS had sent to the federal government, advising the Liberals not to allow Dong to run as a candidate. But the prime minister, referring to those reports, calls them “false”, and then adds: “In a free democracy, it is not up to unelected security officials to dictate to political parties who can or cannot run as candidates”. Then, he goes on to defend Han Dong: “He is an exceptional member of our team and Canada should welcome the members of the 1.7 million people of the Chinese diaspora who want to run for public office. The ‘rumors’ according to which he is not loyal to Canada should not be considered” Trudeau said, adding that “we are extraordinarily fortunate and happy to have a Member of Parliament like Han Dong, among us, serving his community, serving our country, along with Chinese Canadian lawmakers from different parts of the country”. Finally, the lunge: “One of the things we have seen, unfortunately, in recent years is an increase in anti-Asian racism linked to the pandemic and the concerns raised or arising about people’s loyalty” said Trudeau.
Dong, who is a MP for Don Valley North in Toronto, also responded to the allegations in a statement on Monday. “I strongly reject insinuations in media reporting that allege I have played a role in offshore interference and will defend myself vigorously against such inaccurate and irresponsible claims” Dong wrote, noting that his team saw no indication of what would have happened. “My nomination and campaign teams have found no indication of any irregularities or compliance issues regarding my candidacy or election”.
Trudeau, for his part, had already made it clear in recent days – albeit not clearly answering the questions of journalists who pressed him on the China case – that no public investigation commission would be opened. “It’s a really important thing that Canadians are so interested in ensuring that our principles of democracy and our practice of democracy continue to be protected” he added. No public inquiry, though.
In the photo above, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a rally in Markham-Unionville in the Chinese community: Han Dong is also there and the photo is taken from his Instagram page @handongontario
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