So farewell then to Vincent Ke, the MPP for Toronto’s Don Valley North and alleged bagman for Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.
He can now be found deep in the back benches of Queen’s Park, sitting as an independent.
Ke has resigned from the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario so as not to sully the government and reputation of Premier Doug Ford and to clear his own name. That’s his story.
A March 10 report by Global News referred to intelligence reports and unnamed sources who said that Ke served as a “financial intermediary” in Communist China’s election interference network in Canada.
“While the Global News allegations about me are false and defamatory, I do not want to be a distraction to the government and take away from the good work Premier Ford is doing for the province of Ontario,” Ke said in a statement.
“Therefore, I will be stepping away from the PC Caucus in order to dedicate my time to clearing my name and representing my constituents.”
The Global News report says that, according to sources, Ke received around $50,000 from the Chinese Consulate in Toronto as part of a $250,000 fund allocated for Beijing’s interference network. The funds were allegedly channeled via a series of intermediaries.
The article cited a Privy Council Office (PCO) report which says that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) network in the Toronto area includes at least 11 candidates who ran in the 2019 federal election, at least 13 aides, and an unnamed Ontario MPP.
“While the allegations against Mr. Ke are not proven, they are serious and deserve his full and undivided attention as he works to clear his name,” Ford said in a statement. “As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, Mr. Ke offered to step away from the Ontario PC caucus to sit as an independent.”
Wenbin “Vincent” Ke has been the MPP for the Toronto riding of Don Valley North since 2018 and is the first mainland-Chinese Canadian immigrant elected as a Progressive Conservative MPP.
Ke was born in Quanzhou, Fujian China, and immigrated to Canada in 1998. He holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from Fuzhou University in China and a Master’s from Ruhr University in Germany.
Prior to his election, Ke worked for Conec — a German firm which has sites in Shanghai and Brampton — from 1999 to 2018. His role with the company was as an electronic engineer. Ke is also registered as an insurance agent by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
This is not the first time Ke has been publicly linked to the Communist Party of Canada. His ties to the Chinese consulate were questioned by National Post writer Tom Blackwell in a 2019 article. Blackwell reported that Ke maintained ties with groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department.
Blackwell provided Ke’s office with a list of questions about his connections to the Chinese government including the possibility he joined the Chinese Communist Party, his ties with the Chinese consulate and a 2013 trip to China for a government-run workshop.
In response, Ke’s office said that he was “honoured to be a part of Doug Ford’s government” and that he would focus on “ensuring a strong voice for the constituents of Don Valley North at Queen’s Park.
Ford’s office also provided a response, stating that “MPP Ke is an important part of the Progressive Conservative caucus and represents his constituents with their best interests in mind”.
A 2021 article by Blackwell described Ke as seeming “over-eager to defend China, rather than being too worried about anti-Asian hate,” after Ke and Scarborough-Agincourt MPP Aris Babikian spoke out about a sign at a Chinese physician’s office describing COVID-19 as “Wuhan pneumonia.”
So, he was on the radar before Global News latched on. His evasiveness, however, only adds to the suspicious.