The Conservatives want Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to investigate if former ambassador and Liberal MP John McCallum encouraged the Chinese government to interfere in Canadian politics.
In a letter to CSIS Director David Vigneault, Conservative MPs Lisa Raitt and Pierre Paul-Hus wrote that an investigation is necessary to prove the integrity of Canadian democracy.
“Canadians expect that the upcoming election will be conducted in a free and fair manner and that any and all incidents of foreign interference will be fully investigated, with action taken to prevent said interference,” they wrote.
“We believe Mr McCallum’s actions, as confirmed by his own public statements, deserve the utmost scrutiny of your agency.”
South China Morning Post reported that McCallum told the Chinese government that they should not hurt the Liberals’ chances of reelection as a Conservative government would hold China more accountable.
“Anything that is more negative against Canada will help the Conservatives, (who) are much less friendly to China than the Liberals,” McCallum said.
“I hope and I don’t see any reason why things will get worse, it would be nice if things will get better between now and (Canada’s federal) election (in October).”
McCallum was a long term Liberal MP and cabinet minister until he was made ambassador to China in 2017. In January he was fired for compromising remarks he gave to Chinese media.
At the time of his dismissal, McCallum said it would be “great” if Canada drops charges against an executive of the Chinese firm Huawei, Meng Wanzhou. Wanzhou is fighting deportation to the United States. She is accused of misleading authorities about her business dealings with Iran.
Canada-China relations have only worsened since McCallum was relieved of his duties. Canada has yet to find a replacement for McCallum.
As China continues to show Canada disrespect it’s likely that this new revelation will only push Canada-China relations to a new low.
CSIS has not yet responded to the Conservative’s letter.