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Who Interfered Canadian Democracy

Xiaoming Guo 郭晓明


On March 23, 2023, NDP motioned for a public inquiry into foreign interference, amid the latest allegation that Honorable Han Dong advised the Chinese Consul to Toronto about the release of two Michaels. The motion passed with 172 in favor and 149 against. Han Dong voted in favor of the motion and Han Dong denied the allegation.

In the last few months, opposition politicians voiced alarmingly about foreign interference in Canadian elections, saying foreign interference undermines Canadian democracy. Yet they all want to address only the Chinese interference in the election of 2019 and 2021, ignoring the $6 million foreign funds poured into the 2015 election.

The U.S.-based Tides Foundation funded 114 organizations in Canada $6 million to influence the 2015 Canadian Election, and changed the outcome of the election, according to a 36-page report filed with Election Canada. Tides Foundation is richly founded by many sources including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund run by the Rockefeller family, the king of the American petroleum industry. Tides Foundation has annual funding of $1.2 billion. It paid Tieds Canada US$56 million since 2000. Tides Canada campaigned the most anti-pipeline movements in Canada, resulting that Alberta oil and gas having no pipelines with the capacity to reach the world market through the Pacific or Atlantic, but having to sell at a deep discount to America, making the American petroleum industry rich at the expense of Canadian national interest. When politicians alarming foreign interference, they ignore the foreign interference that changed our election outcome in 2015 and changed our industry policy. Some may argue that the Tides Foundation is not linked or affiliated with foreign governments in practice or in law, yet we know NGOs are the main vehicles that make regime changes and color revolutions, a very troublesome interference in other countries’ politics. Most terrorist groups are also not affiliated with a foreign government in law or in practice. Why should we discriminate whether foreign interference is from a government or an NGO? Canada Election Act specifically elaborates at 349.02 that no third party shall use funds for a partisan activity, for advertising, for election advertising or for an election survey if the source of the funds is a foreign entity. When politicians refer to foreign interference, they only want to address Chinese interference, not the interference in the 2015 election. When laws are applied unequally to different groups of people, or when certain groups are excluded from legal enforcement, the rule of law is violated. This can happen when laws are used to target marginalized communities, such as ethnic or religious minorities. When we apply Canada Election Act only to Chinese ethnic groups in Canada but exempt other groups such as Tides Canada, then we betray the rule of law in Canada and are racist. Rule of law is a fundamental principle of modern democracies that protects human rights. When our parliament discriminately enforces Canada Election Act, our government betrays democracy and human rights.

Canadian politics was the extension of British politics at the beginning. The most significant was politics between Liberals and Conservatives and was rooted in the politics in Britain as Whigs and Tories. Understadarbally, Canadian politics is influenced by a foreign country greatly from the very beginning. Of cause, we cannot view this as really “foreign” because the sovereignty of Canada and Britain are both vested in the same monarch. Yet, today, Canadian politics is almost an extension of US politics. Most of the policies in the Liberal platform echo that of Democrats and most of the policies in the Conservatives platform echo that of Republicans. The US fought for independence from Britain’s rule. Canada was established mainly because Canadians did not want to be American. Talking about foreign interference, the most significant foreign interference is the US interference in Canadian politics, with its smart power and soft power. Take media for example, Postmedia Network is owned mostly by American capital and it controls much important English media in Canada. Shifting of foreign influence from Britain to the US, there was a period in which Canada was relatively independent. During that independent period, Canada enjoyed a very friendly relationship with Red China. China has viewed Canada as a very friendly country due to Norman Bethune who helped China in WWII. Before Canada established the normal diplomatic relation with Red China in the 1970s, Canada already traded with Red China despite the US embargo and sanctions. Overall, Canada used to have a good relationship with Red China until the Meng Wanzhou case.

Meng Wanzhou case is the wedge the US put between Canada and China. It was totally non of Canada’s business. Meng violates no international law and no Canadian law. It is the US that violated the international law of the Iran Nuclear Deal. The US sanctioned Iran by breaching the Iran Nuclear Deal. The US wanted to extradite Meng because of a probable violation of the US sanction in a transition in Hong Kong.

The relationship between Canada and China deteriorates because Canadian policy echoes Washington’s and Washington declared China as the main threat. Only after the Meng case did the “China threat” rhetorics emerged in Canadian politics. So far, there is no evidence to support the allegations of China’s interference. The “China’s interference” is only a public perception, manufactured by the media and the rhetorics of politicians.

On November 7, 2022, Global News reported that Canadian intelligence warned PM Trudeau that China covertly funded 2019 election candidates: Sources, claimed the Chinese government funded 11 candidates for $200,000. Two weeks later, Trudeau openly and internationally deny the allegation, saying that he has never been briefed that any candidates in the 2019 federal election may have been influenced by financing from the Chinese government.

On March 2, 2023, many media reported, apparently all reports based on the same template, that The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation says it is returning $200,000 it received seven years ago after a media report alleged a potential connection to Beijing. What the media didn’t tell the public is that the Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity. It never engages in any political or election campaign activities. Yet the media does not report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They just report this emphasizing Trudeau, $200 K, China link to manufacturing the public perception the Chinese government donated money to interfere in our 2019 election. The media is not informing the public objectively about the truth, it selects information to twit the public perception. The two Chinese businessmen who donate the $200 K are members of the China Culture Industry Association. Their donation is for the cultural exchange between Canada and China, and for the friendship of Sino-Canadian relations.

On March 6, 2023, the opposition in the house attacked Trudeau by asking Trudeau to clear up the whole China Interference affairs. This violates the Canadian spirit of rule of law. The burden of proof is the responsibility of a person or party to provide sufficient evidence or proof to support a claim or assertion. It is a fundamental principle in legal proceedings, where the burden of proof is typically placed on the party making the claim or accusation. If the opposition really wants the truth of the affair, they should ask the media alleging China’s interference to provide evidence of the allegations, other than asking Trudeau or any MPs of the Liberals to prove they are innocent. Violating the principle of rule of law is sabotaging our democracy. The media and the opposition politicians seemed to have no intention of finding the truth, but to manipulate the public perception.

The Meng and two Michaels affair was the geopolitical play between the US and China. The US and China are the players in the game. Canada is not a player in the game but is played. It is a no-brainer to make the story that China is using two Michaels to interfere in Canadian politics and the Canadian elections. China could not release two Michaels when Meng was not released. China released two Michaels without one second of delay when Meng was released. Claiming Dong advised China to delay the release of the Michaels makes no sense at all. Granted, a Canadian lawmaker lobbying China to release two Michaels is Canada interfering in China’s politics, not China interfering with Canadian politics.

So-called China interfering Canadian election is the CSIS briefed Trudeau about a serious allegation of the possible potential threat from China, without any verified evidence. It amounts to mere immaterial hearsay. The “China interference” affair is a result of foreign interference by Washington. It is Washington pushing Canada into a new cold war through the arrest of Meng Wanzhou. Canada is echoing Washington’s rhetoric of the “China threat”, turning parliament into a Medieval Religion Inquisition doing a “China threat” witch hunt.

Foreign interference does damage Canadian democracy and the foreign interference is from the US. Democratically elected MP Dong and MPP Ke resigned from their party caucus due to the defaming of the allegations without evidence-based verification. Chinese Canadians are worried that the Chinese Exclusion Act is coming back after 100 years, as the state machine is discriminatively targeting Chinese Canadians. Chinese Canadians are experiencing increasing violent hate crimes.

It is Washington, not China, that interfered with the Canadian election and Canadian politics, damaging the Canadian rule of law and democracy.