Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he was never briefed on the matter, and his security adviser dismissed it out of hand, but two high-level national security reports released before and after the 2019 election indicate that they were warned that Chinese government officials were funneling money to Canadian political candidates.
Reviewed and reported by Global News, the two intelligence reports, dated 2019 and 2022, raise concerns about what senior federal officials knew about the alleged funding by a foreign intervention network, as well as how seriously the Trudeau government handled the warnings.
The first is a “Special Report” prepared by the Privy Council Office (PCO) for the Trudeau administration and dated January 2022. The document was also finished, implying that it was intended for Trudeau and his closest advisers to read.
“A large clandestine transfer of funds earmarked for the federal election from the PRC Consulate in Toronto was transferred to an elected provincial government official via a staff member of a 2019 federal candidate,” the PCO report stated.
According to intelligence sources, the provincial official implicated in the alleged covert transfer from the Toronto consulate is a member of Ontario’s legislature.
When asked if CSIS Director David Vigneault had told Trudeau, his staff, or cabinet on the claims of clandestine funding, CSIS spokesman Eric Balsam said, “There are important limits to what I can publicly discuss given the need to protect sensitive activities, techniques, methods, and sources of intelligence.”
Global News also learnt about an earlier, high-level warning regarding clandestine funding of China’s “preferred candidates” from a bipartisan body of lawmakers two months before the 2019 election, after reviewing the intelligence files. The media site was able to examine an unredacted copy of the report, which hasn’t been made public yet.
The material came from Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), which evaluates national security issues and supports “government-wide accountability” and was established by Trudeau in 2017 as an agency reporting directly to the prime minister.
This is the same panel Trudeau appointed on Monday to investigate allegations of Chinese electoral meddling, which Global first reported in November.
But, Trudeau’s appointment of NSICOP and a “special rapporteur” did not answer mounting calls from national security experts for a public inquiry into the claims.
According to the 2019 NSICOP study of foreign influence, “foreign states clandestinely direct contributions to” Canadian politicians.
In the report under “Targeting the Political Nomination Process and Preferred Candidates,” it says that “targeting often begins during the nomination process.”
After the nomination process, “foreign states clandestinely direct contributions to and support for the campaigns and political parties of preferred candidates.”
While the report did not investigate specific interference actions aimed at the 2019 federal election, it did provide multiple examples of alleged Chinese electoral meddling involving candidate targeting and funding from 2015 to 2018.
“A [People’s Republic of China] Embassy interlocutor founded a group of community leaders called the ‘tea party’ to hand-pick candidates that it would support and ultimately publicly endorse,” the report said.
It also found out that a “former PRC Commercial Consul informed PRC businesses of the rules regarding Canadian political contributions and ‘urged particular business leaders to donate through Canadian subsidiaries and acquisitions’.”
While the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to Global News on Feb. 7 that Trudeau received and studied the NSICOP report, spokeswoman Alison Murphy said Tuesday that Trudeau was not aware of China directing funding to political candidates.
“As the Prime Minister stated last fall, we have no information on any federal candidates receiving money from China,” Murphy stated.
Trudeau also dismissed knowledge of the alleged Chinese disbursements to Canadian politicians back when Global News first broke the story.
“I never got in all the briefings and all the serious briefings I got, I never got briefings on candidates receiving money from China,” said Trudeau back in December.
Information for this briefing was found via Global News and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.