MP Han Dong speaks out against report on foreign interference Pipa News

MP Han Dong speaks out against report on foreign interference

The Liberal MP who is said to have benefited from Chinese election meddling has spoken out against the report, stating categorically that the foreign government has not helped him in his nomination campaign.

“As far as I know, I was not offered, was not told, was not informed, nor would I accept any assistance from abroad, both during my nomination and during my election campaign,” Han Dong told reporters on Tuesday.

“I am a Canadian, nominated by liberals in Don Valley North, by Canadians to serve Canadians,” he added. “I’m just going to focus on my work.”

A Global News report last month said that CSIS warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office shortly before the 2019 election that Dong, a liberal candidate, was part of a Chinese foreign interference network. CTV News has not independently verified the report.

Dong, a former Ontario MPP, is now a sitting MP, elected in both 2019 and 2021 in the riding of Don Valley North. Global News reported that Dong was favored by Beijing over another Sino-Canadian liberal, and that he was a “witting affiliate” of Chinese influence networks.

Trudeau has since both defended Dong and refuted claims that he was warned by CSIS to drop him as a candidate.

“Dong is an outstanding member of our team and suggestions that he is somehow disloyal to Canada should not be accepted,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Mississauga, Ontario, last month.

“Suggestions we’ve seen in the media that CSIS somehow say, ‘No, this person can’t run or that person can’t run,’ is not only false, it’s even damaging to the trust of the public. people in our democratic and political institutions,” he also said.

On Tuesday, Dong spoke out for the first time since the report, repeatedly calling them “unverified, anonymous allegations.” When asked if the Chinese government had any involvement in his nomination, he replied “absolutely not.”

“My election, my nomination, everything went according to the rules, it’s public and it passes the test,” he said.

The MP said he supports the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint a special rapporteur to assess foreign interference in elections and recommend whether there should be a public inquiry, but would not say definitively whether he himself is in favor of such research.

“Certainly, I have my personal interest, I want the truth to come out, in my defense,” he said.

Dong said he is concerned about how the allegations will affect his constituents, especially his Chinese-Canadian constituents.

Dong added that he has not heard from the Prime Minister’s Office, CSIS or any other law enforcement agency about the allegations.

“I have never received a call from CSIS, I have never been informed whether there was an ongoing investigation, whether by CSIS, RCMP or Elections Canada, regarding my nomination or election campaign,” he said.

Dong said he also did not contact the Prime Minister’s office to ask about the report.

“I’m not going,” he said. “I can’t defend myself against an unverified, anonymous source.”

But Dong said he wrote a letter to the director of CSIS asking about the allegations and whether they were the result of a leak from CSIS, and that the agency “acknowledged” receipt of his letter.


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