Canada is said to be more exposed than other Western democracies to China’s interference, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau either deflects or stonewalls on concrete actions. Why?
By Patricia Adams and Lawrence Solomon
What explains the remarkable exchanges between President Xi and Prime Minister Trudeau at the G20 meeting, where Xi initially rebuked Trudeau in diplomatese by refusing to grant him a formal audience, and then rebuked Trudeau publicly in a corridor press scrum after granting him an informal meeting?
The most plausible explanation given the facts now known: Trudeau failed to thread the needle of satisfying his Chinese master while maintaining the pretence to Canadians that he was standing up for them.
Abundant evidence now attests to widespread infiltration by China’s Communist Party (CCP) into the Canadian parliament and Canadian institutions. As documented by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the CCP provided clandestine payments through affiliated intermediaries to at least 11 candidates for Canada’s federal parliament in the 2019 election. In the 2021 election, at least 13 Conservative seats are believed to have been targeted and members who now sit in parliament may be, in effect, beholden to the CCP.
In addition, if CSIS is correct, the CCP not only rewarded politicians who would do its bidding but also punished those who refused to be corrupted. The CCP’s sweeping reach also involved placing agents into MP offices in order to influence policy and soliciting former Canadian officials to act on the CCP’s behalf.
None of this is new to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was repeatedly warned by CSIS that the CCP has been interfering in Canada’s parliamentary elections. The interference has also been cited in Canada’s national press, and by the opposition Conservative Party, which believes that its candidates were widely targeted because of their get-tough-on-China policies.
Yet Trudeau has steadfastly refused to take any meaningful action to protect the country from future interference by the CCP, or to protect the country in real time, by revealing the identities of the candidates for parliament who have been in the pay of the CCP, and who may be continuing to do the CCP’s bidding. Although Dan Stanton, a former CSIS official, and David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China, said that Canada is more exposed than other Western democracies to China’s interference, and although the U.S., U.K. and Australia have been strengthening their counter-interference laws and ramping up investigations into CCP interference, Trudeau does nothing but deflect criticism while stonewalling on taking any concrete actions.
Is Trudeau stonewalling because he was incompetent in failing to respond to the early warnings that his security service provided him and is now embarrassed? Or because he was unaware that China insinuated itself into the highest levels of the Canadian government, even to the point of electing fellow Liberals to power, and hopes a coverup will prevent a scandal?
Or is Trudeau stonewalling because he himself is implicated, either because he received Chinese funds himself or because he had given the CCP the green light to fund the parliamentarians and insinuate its operatives into key positions within his government?
The answer to whether Trudeau was duped by the Chinese or whether he was a willing party might be found in President Xi’s decision to pointedly rebuke Trudeau. At the G20, Xi gave lengthy, private audiences to numerous world leaders, including those of Argentina and Senegal, countries of far less significance to China than Canada. He met with the president of the United States and the heads of American allies, including the prime minister of Australia, with whom China has had bitter disagreements.
But Xi refused to grant Trudeau a private audience, although Canada is not adopting any of the tough anti-CCP reforms being taken by the U.S., Australia and others, and although Canada is high on the list of countries that Xi has been trying to influence. When Xi did condescend to meet Trudeau it was brief and in a group setting, and it was followed by the scrum designed to diminish Trudeau, as if he didn’t belong in a gathering of world leaders.
Would Xi go out of his way to rebuke Trudeau if Trudeau was unaware of the favours Xi was performing for Liberal candidates for office? Possibly. Would Xi go out of his way to rebuke Trudeau if Trudeau was aware of the CCP’s help, and failed to reciprocate as expected?
Based on what is now known, Xi treated Trudeau with the contempt he might show a subordinate who failed to perform. The evidence doesn’t point to Trudeau stonewalling because he didn’t know what the CCP was up to; it points to him stonewalling because he knows all too well, as does Xi.
Patricia Adams is an economist and the President of the Energy Probe Research Foundation and Probe International, an independent think tank in Canada and around the world. She is the publisher of internet news services Three Gorges Probe and Odious Debts Online and the author or editor of numerous books. Her books and articles have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Bengali, Japanese, and Bahasa Indonesia. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Lawrence Solomon is an Epoch Times columnist, a former National Post and Globe and Mail columnist, and the executive director of Toronto-based Energy Probe and Consumer Policy Institute. He is the author of 7 books, including “The Deniers,” a #1 environmental best-seller in both the United States and Canada. He can be reached at LS@lawrencesolomon.ca.