Alleged alien interference at the center of a ride IG News

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In his new role as special envoy investigating alleged foreign interference, David Johnston will likely take a deep dive into the suburban Toronto riding of Don Valley North.

The ride is emerging as a nexus for alleged meddling by China. It is represented federally by a Liberal and provincially by a Progressive Conservative party – but what raises eyebrows is their ties to a wealthy supermarket mogul with close ties to the Chinese consulate in Toronto.

The connections are between Liberal MPP Han Dong, PC MPP Vincent Kay and supermarket mogul Wei Chengyi. Wei is the owner of the Foodie Mart grocery chain, which has stores in Ontario and British Columbia. The two politicians often appear alongside the businessman at events covered by Chinese ethnic media.

But for Canadians who don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese – only now is the tangled web of relationships unraveling.

Shaking hands with President Xi Jinping

Four years ago, Wei attended a conference in Beijing for overseas Chinese business leaders. Media reports from May 2019 show a video of him shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A month later, Dong announced that he would enter the race for nomination to become the Liberal candidate for Don Valley North in the Canadian federal election. He started his campaign at the Foodi Mart head office in Ryding. Wei stood by them.

After Ke won his provincial seat in 2018, Wei was listed in the credits as a chief advisor on a documentary celebrating Ke’s victory. The feature was posted on 365 Net TV, a Chinese digital program.

Wei is also the Honorary President of the Canada Toronto Fuking Business Association (CTFBA) which promotes relations with China. Its translated mission statement includes the goal of “uniting the rural spirit, integrating resources … and furthering the spirit of unity”.

But an affiliate organization of the CTFBA is located at 220 Royal Crest Ct. In Markham, Ont. The address belonged to a Chinese police station identified by Safeguard Defenders, a Spain-based NGO that monitors disappearances in China.

Last November the RCMP confirmed it was investigating the office.

Tracking the Chinese Diaspora

On its website, the Fuqing Association also states that it was formed under the “specific guidance of the United Front Work Department”.

According to the Canadian government, the UFWD is an offshoot of the Chinese Community Party. A Public Safety Canada document released in 2021 states that the UFWD is used to “suppress criticism, infiltrate foreign political parties, migrant communities, universities and multinational corporations”.

Tens of thousands of Chinese agents work for the UFWD around the world to monitor the movements of their diaspora. According to intelligence experts, more than 40,000 personnel have been added to the UFWD since Xi came to power.

Scott McGregor is a former military intelligence officer and co-author The Mosaic Effect, How the Chinese Communist Party Launched a Hybrid War in America’s Backyard.

He says the United Front works to “collect and disseminate intelligence” through a network of overseas Chinese associations. McGregor says that in some cases money is laundered through the UFWD to achieve its objectives.

McGregor said, “With transnational crime, it’s often in part funded so they can conduct what they’re initiating (such as) a protest with protesters paid for other activities. The money often comes from organized crime,” McGregor said.

naming names

The intense media scrutiny follows reports in The Globe and Mail and Global News about an orchestrated effort by the Chinese government to get 11 candidates sympathetic to China elected in 2019. Both news organizations cited Canadian intelligence sources.

After viewing national security documents based on CSIS intelligence, Global News named Han Dong as an “intelligent associate” in the Chinese Interference Network and also alleged that a staff member in Vincent’s office paid those candidates. Maybe those deemed “friendly” by Beijing. 2019 federal election.

Kay was also embroiled in controversy last spring, when the Ontario Liberals called on the provincial police commissioner to investigate a breach of trust by Kay or his office.

Documents obtained by the provincial party show what the Liberals called 15 “hidden shell companies” incorporated by Kay employees and their family members after Kay was elected in 2018. Some registered nonprofits’ addresses corresponded to the homes of K’s relatives. Employee.

An organization received a $25,000 provincial grant to help keep seniors healthy. The OPP did not pursue the investigation further.

silence, avoidance and denial

Wei has not responded to multiple requests for comment from CTV News. The request was made in phone calls and emails to the trade association he belongs to and the supermarket he operates.

In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Dong said: “I strongly reject the insinuations in media reporting alleging that I played a role in offshore interference in these processes and will vigorously defend myself.” “

Kay called Global’s allegations “false and defamatory”, but resigned from the PC caucus to sit as an independent in Queen’s Park.

“I don’t want to be a distraction to government and take away from the good work Premier Fordyce is doing for the province of Ontario. That’s why I’m calling on the PC caucus to clear my name and dedicate time to representing myself.” Going away. Component.”

CTV News has not seen the classified report, but has spoken to more than a dozen sources in the Chinese community in the Greater Toronto Area.

These sources include federal and provincial election campaign managers, former candidates, ethnic media reporters and local activists. Some of them were interviewed by CSIS agents and provided names.

list of names

Dong and Ke are among a group of local, provincial and federal politicians named by multiple CTV news sources as beneficiaries of Chinese state support.

Sources told CTV that middlemen, under the direction of Chinese consulate officials, paid for party memberships and bused international students and seniors to cast ballots to secure Ke’s nomination.

Similar incidents reportedly occurred during Dong’s federal nomination win.

Gloria Fung is a pro-democracy activist with Hong Kong-Canada links. She says that Beijing has financed many candidates in many elections for a place in government at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

“The money has been distributed to the candidate through individual members of the United Front Organization. So each person will donate to one person to ensure that it does not exceed the maximum limit. But the money came from the United Front Organization, which to get their funding from the Chinese embassy,” Fung said.

Over the years, Fung has been threatened and harassed for opposing restrictive laws imposed on Hong Kong by China. She knows that investigating interference will be a challenge.

“They wouldn’t be so foolish as to leave a paper trail.”