OTTAWA, ON – Following bombshell revelations by Global News, Conservatives will again demand that Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, appear before the House Procedure and House Affairs Committee (PROC) on the matter of Chinese Communist Party election interference.
On the evening of Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, Global News aired the most serious of allegations regarding Liberal MP Han Dong, election interference by the Chinese Communist Party, and what Justin Trudeau’s top aides allegedly knew in September 2019:
Transcript from Global News:
…sources say Han Dong had help from the Chinese consulate in Toronto to become the 2019 Liberal candidate in the [Don Valley North] riding.
Through a combination of CSIS documents and intelligence sources, Global News has learned that the Consulate allegedly sent two busloads of Chinese-Canadian seniors to the Don Valley North Liberal nomination meeting, and those seniors knew who to vote for because Dong’s name was written on their arm.
Sources also say CSIS suspected Chinese international students with faked addresses were bused in and “told by the PRC support their preferred candidate if they wanted to maintain their student visa status.”
…Dong won the nomination, but he still needed Justin Trudeau’s stamp of approval to carry the Liberal banner in this suburban Toronto riding – one with a sizable diaspora of Chinese Canadians
A senior intelligence official told Global News CSIS shared their concerns about Dong in late September 2019 during a classified briefing with senior Liberal Party staff who hold security clearances. In that meeting, CSIS urged them to rescind Dong’s nomination. Despite the alleged warnings to his staff, Trudeau approved Dong’s candidacy.
“Each allegation in this developing story on Chinese Communist Party election interference is more shocking than the last,” said Conservative MP Michael Cooper. “Justin Trudeau’s initial reaction to reports in the Globe & Mail was to attack the whistleblowers. Then he said asking questions about election interference was itself undermining democracy and smugly shrugged off the reporting on CSIS allegations as ‘inaccurate’. But with these latest reports from the media, Justin Trudeau and his government can no longer run or hide from these allegations. They must come clean.”
“It would be beyond outrageous if the Prime Minister of our country was made aware that one of his Liberal candidates was compromised by the Chinese Communist Party and outright refused to do the right thing. It is crucial for confidence in our democracy that we know what Justin Trudeau and his government knew and when. The Prime Minister’s top aide, Chief of Staff Katie Telford, must appear before Committee to tell us what she knows.”
The Conservatives’ re-upped demand follows earlier efforts by the Liberal-NDP coalition to block Telford’s testimony. On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the Liberals and their NDP accomplices worked in unison to obstruct Conservative calls for Justin Trudeau’s top advisor to appear before committee to testify on the matter of election interference by the Chinese Communist Party.
The original motion put forward by the Conservatives read:
That, given the recent Globe and Mail reports written by Steven Chase and Robert Fife which brought forward shocking revelations regarding Beijing’s strategy to interfere and influence Canada’s democratic institutions, the Committee:
a) extend its study of Foreign Election Interference by as many meetings as required to investigate these reports and, to that end, schedule at least one meeting on February 23, 2023, and at least two meetings during the week of February 27, 2023;
b) invite senior officials from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Elections Canada (including the Commissioner of Canada Elections), the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, the Critical Elections Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) Panel, and the Privy Council Office to testify on these reports;
c) invite Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister;
d) invite The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to return to testify on these reports;
e) invite The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety;
f) invite The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, to return to testify on these reports;
g) invite Jody Thomas, National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister;
h) invite The Honourable Marc Garneau, former Minister of Foreign Affairs;
i) invite The Honourable Bill Blair, former Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;
j) invite Vincent Rigby, former National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister;
k) invite David Morrison, former Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister;
l) hear each of the foregoing witnesses in public; and
m) order the production of all memoranda, briefing notes, e-mails, records of conversations, and any other relevant documents, including any drafts, which are in the possession of any government department or agency, including SITE, CEIPP, any Minister’s Office, and the Prime Minister’s Office, containing information concerning efforts by, or on behalf of, foreign governments or other foreign state actors to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 general elections, including the documents which were quoted in the Globe and Mail reports, provided that,
(i) these documents be deposited without redaction with the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, in both official languages and within three weeks of the adoption of this order,
(ii) the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall promptly notify the Committee whether the Office is satisfied that the documents were produced as ordered, and, if not, the Chair shall be instructed to present forthwith, on behalf of the Committee, a report to the House outlining the material facts of the situation, and
(iii) the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall make as few redactions to the documents as is necessary to protect the identities of employees or sources of Canadian or allied intelligence agencies, and, as soon as reasonably possible, provide the redacted documents to the Clerk of the Committee to be distributed to all members of the Committee.
Liberal MP Greg Fergus introduced an amendment removing clause (c), and NDP MP Peter Julian joined with five Liberal MPs in voting to block the demand for Telford to testify.
“Given the latest damning media reports, it’s now clearer than ever why the Liberals and their NDP allies worked so hard to block the testimony of Justin Trudeau’s top advisor,” said Cooper. “Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff must testify before Committee this coming week. Justin Trudeau and his government cannot hide any longer. And perhaps most importantly, Ms. Telford must swear an oath that her testimony to the Committee is truthful.”
“The NDP must cease aiding and abetting this obstruction by the Trudeau Liberals. It is time for the NDP join efforts to compel transparency from Justin Trudeau’s government.”
At committee, the Conservatives will also renew their demand for the production of all government documents relevant to the matter of Chinese Communist Party election interference, as clause (m) was also removed from the final motion passed on February 21.
“All Canadians – regardless of where they or their ancestors came from – should be able to exercise their democratic rights free of foreign meddling, influence, or pressure. That’s exactly why it’s so important that we get to the bottom of what Justin Trudeau and his government knew. Not just so we can hold those responsible accountable, but ultimately so we can protect our democracy going forward,” said Cooper.