Trudeau defends MP's loyalty to Canada after reports of alleged Chinese interference

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Liberal MP Han Dong is loyal to Canada, defending him in response to a media report that said he was helped by the Chinese consulate while running to be the party's candidate in a Toronto-area riding in 2019.

He also says it's not up to Canada's spy agency to "dictate to political parties who can or cannot run" in elections.

A Global News report last week cited anonymous sources alleging the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had urged senior Liberal party staff to rescind Dong's nomination, but that Trudeau approved his candidacy.

That and other reports about Chinese interference in Canadian elections have led opposition parties to call for a public inquiry into foreign election interference — something Trudeau has rejected.

The prime minister did not directly answer a question about whether CSIS warned the Liberal party about Dong's alleged involvement with China before the 2019 election.

A parliamentary committee is set to hear from national intelligence adviser Jody Thomas and the deputy minister of foreign affairs, David Morrison, this week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Global News reported that Liberal MP Han Dong was allegedly helped by the Chinese consulate in the 2019 federal election.