RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki confirmed the RCMP has not charged anyone in its ongoing investigation into four alleged Chinese-led police stations operating in Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area.
Lucki testified on Monday, alongside Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, that neither criminal nor diplomatic penalties have been levied as a result of the RCMP’s months-long investigation.
“If any of that had happened, then I could speak more to it […] but that is not the case,” said Lucki.
“I would echo the response that you got from [Lucki],” said Mendicino. “If there are any actions which are taken, then the government will share that information when we can.”
The RCMP officially announced the investigation last November.
Lucki said the delay is due to a complex investigation process. She said RCMP cannot easily convert intelligence into admissible evidence – making it hard to file criminal charges.
The alleged police stations directed by the Chinese government are fronted by legitimate businesses, she said, which also thwart punitive action.
Lucki confirmed RCMP know the location of each alleged station, and have sent uniformed officers to the stations in order to cause a disruption.
Several MPs put questions to Lucki and Mendicino regarding the safety of affected constituents.
Liberal MP Jean Yip asked how non-English speaking Chinese-Canadians can seek advice for the intimidation they are facing.
Lucki said this issue was important, and the government has taken action to serve that group.
“That’s in fact why we created a 1-800 number, so if people don’t feel comfortable going to, for example, a police station, or are fearful, they can call the 1-800 number,” said Lucki.
“We also have an email address that they can send their concerns [to]. That especially works well if the person’s first language is not English or French.”
Liberal MP Paul Chiang said 66% of his affected constituent base is Chinese, and they have come to him asking for help to ensure that something is done.
“We do know these places exist,” he said. “You mentioned you had uniformed police officers go there, but has anything been done to prevent any foreign interference?”
Lucki assured Chiang that an investigation has been launched, but said she could not share details. She said this is to protect the methods and the witnesses of the ongoing investigation.
NDP MP Heather MacPherson said her constituents do not feel protected or heard. MacPherson said affected Canadians complain to her that they reach out for help, but are passed around between the RCMP, the local police, and the government without receiving any answers.
“They’re not feeling like the government is taking care of them,” she said. “So minister, how do I respond to that? Because what you’re telling other members of this committee is that they are being protected, and what they are feeling is that they are not.”
Mendicino told MacPherson that her constituents are being protected by a network of active tools which prevent foreign interference in Canada. He added that his team is constantly doing outreach to these communities.