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The Chinese diplomat who reportedly worked to target an MP should have been expelled long ago, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and the implicated MP said on May 3.
Poilievre said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government knew for two years that “a foreign agent was in this country threatening the family of a Canadian MP and that he did absolutely nothing. He didn’t kick the foreign agent out. He didn’t inform the MP, he did nothing to protect the family.”
Conservative MP Michael Chong was briefed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on May 2 about a scheme involving a Chinese intelligence service and a Chinese diplomat in Canada to retaliate against him and his family for his advocacy for human rights in China.
The brief came a day after the Globe and Mail reported on a leaked 2021 CSIS assessment on the matter. Chong told reporters that the government confirmed the report in the Globe and Mail.
“They confirmed that this individual participated in a campaign against MPs in the House of Commons,” Chong said in reference to Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, who is accredited as a consular officer at the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, according to Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
Chong called Zhao a “diplomat in name only,” and said he is in fact a “foreign intelligence officer whose job it is to coerce and subvert our democracy.”
“For the Government of Canada to continue to accredit this individual and allow this individual to remain in Canada is a complete abdication of responsibility.”
Previous Globe and Mail reporting from a national security source described Zhao as a “suspected intelligence actor.”
“A person in Canada is targeting me and my family, with the approval of the Government of Canada. This individual needs to be declared persona non grata immediately,” said Chong.
The Epoch Times asked Global Affairs Canada if any action would be taken against Zhao on May 1 but didn’t hear back.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier that day that he only found out about the threats against Chong this week through media. He said that the information had never left CSIS due to the agency deciding a threshold had not been met to inform government.
“CSIS made the determination that it wasn’t something that needed to be raised to a higher level because it wasn’t a significant enough concern,” he said. CSIS was contacted for comment but didn’t immediately respond.
Chong was asked by a reporter whether he believes the prime minister when he says he only found out on May 1 about the issue.
“I think the prime minister and the government ministers have to come clean about who knew what and when,” he replied.
The Conservative MP, who serves as his party’s foreign affairs critic, said it’s not new that family members of Canadians are being targeted by the communist regime in China in order to “coerce and intimidate.”
“What is new here, what is at issue, is that the government did nothing about a person in Canada that was targeting me and my family and targeting other Members of Parliament.”
Canada has been embroiled for months in a scandal on Chinese interference spurred by national security leaks in the media.
So far two elected officials identified in the leaks as Chinese regime associates, one at the federal level and one in Ontario, have resigned from their party caucuses over the allegations.