Vancouver politicians call for probe of report of election interference by China
Vancouver’s current mayor, former mayor, and a current city councillor are calling for an investigation into media reports of foreign interference in Canadian democracy.
The statements, from Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, former mayor Kennedy Stewart, and sitting Coun. Lenny Zhou, came Thursday following a Globe and Mail story alleging China’s former consul-general in Vancouver “actively interfered” in the 2022 civic election, citing a secret report from Canada’s national intelligence agency.
Stewart, who was elected mayor in 2018 but failed to win re-election last year, told Postmedia he believes the federal and provincial governments are not serious enough about municipal elections, which he says are vulnerable to interference.
“It’s democracy under threat. … Silence isn’t really an option,” Stewart said Thursday. “It is a democratic test we’re having here.”
The Globe’s story quotes a January 2022 report by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) outlining how “China’s then-consul-general, Tong Xiaoling, discussed mentoring — or as the report quoted her, ‘grooming’ — Chinese-Canadian municipal politicians for higher office to advance Beijing’s interests.”
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