Canadian Intelligence Finds Evidence of Chinese Interference in Elections

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), alleges that Chinese operatives have attempted to influence Canadian elections since at least 2019.

CSIS alerted Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, and other cabinet members about the issue in January. Global News in Canada reports that CSIS provided briefings and memos detailing Beijing’s efforts to influence and “subvert” Canadian elections.

The allegations were presented to the prime minister, several cabinet members, and others in a series of memos and briefings that were first presented in January. Sources said other details of Beijing’s attempts to subvert Canada’s democratic process and further its influence.

According to recent CSIS information, these efforts include payments to candidates associated with the Chinese Communist Party, placing agents in the offices of MPs to influence policy, trying to co-opt corrupted former Canadian officials in Ottawa, and mounting aggressive campaigns against Canadian politicians that the People’s Republic of China considers to be threats to its interests.

Beijing interests were suspected to have backed at least 11 candidates, including an Ontario representative (MP), who received C$250,000 from Chinese parties.

According to the outlet, the operation was also directed by China’s consulate in Toronto. It also sought to place operatives in the offices of serving MPs to try to influence policy.

In an effort to gain political influence, efforts were made to “co-opt” and corrupt former Canadian officials.

According to reports, both Canada’s two major political parties, the Liberal Party (and the Conservative Party) were targeted.

Prime Minister Trudeau claims that his administration has taken “significant steps” to address the problem.

“We have taken significant steps to strengthen the integrity and reliability of our electoral processes and our systems and will continue investing in the fight against interference, foreign interference of democracies, and institutions.”

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry claims that his country is not concerned about Canadian elections and has criticized the CSIS report.

State-to-State relations can only be built upon mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit. Canada must stop making comments that harm China-Canada relations.

Lijian did not comment on whether spy balloons from China spotted over Canada or the United States had a “mutual advantage” for North American nations.