For the week of March 19, 2023:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s China crisis continues, with revelations in the Globe and Mail that Chinese diplomat Tong Xiaoling was working to change Vancouver city hall leadership.
An earlier report on leaks from Canada’s spy agency alleged Tong worked to flip Richmond’s two Conservative-held ridings to the Liberal in the 2021 federal election.
On this edition of thePodcast, hear from former Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who was warned by Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers that the Chinese government and its proxies were preparing to meddle in last fall’s civic election.
“They said they had information and it was basically being ignored, so this was an opportunity to make the public aware,” said Stewart, who lost to Ken Sim. “In fact they were happy this would come out in my public calendar, so it would get attention.”
Tong had criticized Stewart publicly on more than one occasion, including for his exploration of closer trade and cultural ties with Taiwan, which Xi Jinping wants to annex. Stewart tells host Bob Mackin that he wonders why Tong was not expelled from Canada before her term ended last July. Stewart also said municipal nomination and election laws need strengthening, to guard against foreign interference.
Also on this edition, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, who led a campaign against Chinese government influence operations at the 2019 Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.
West called Trudeau’s “special rapporteur” appointment of former Governor-General David Johnston a delaying tactic.
“What more do you need to hear or confirm to make a determination as a Prime Minister that a full independent public inquiry is required?” West said. “To go from the top to the bottom of our institutions and ensure that they are free from foreign influence and the interests being served by our institutions are the interests of Canadian citizens.”
Plus headlines from the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific Rim.
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