Conservative MP Michael Chong has learned through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) that China conducted a 'foreign smear campaign' through WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging service.
As first reported by The Canadian Press, the department claims a coordinated network of news accounts dispersed a large volume of false or misleading narratives about Chong from May 4 to 13.
While the information didn't directly threaten Chong or his family, GAC said it made false claims about his background, political stances and relatives.
They stumbled across the messages coincidentally during the spring as part of their ongoing efforts to monitor foreign interference on social media.
GAC said it is 'highly probable' that China orchestrated the false and misleading postings, though the claim cannot be verified as of writing.
In a statement, Chong said the ongoing investigation shows the danger posed by continued Liberal inaction on Chinese interference in Canadian democracy.
On May 1, the MP learned of a coordinated campaign against his person and family by diplomat Wei Zhao, unbeknown to him for years.
According to The Globe and Mail, a Chinese Ministry of State Security officer desired information on Chong's relatives abroad to impose sanctions on them after the MP tabled a parliamentary motion condemning Beijing's treatment of the Uyghurs as a "genocide" on February 18, 2021.
On May 8, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the expulsion of the Chinese diplomat, prompting retaliation from China, who expelled a Canadian diplomat from its country soon after.
"While CSIS has briefed me about foreign interference threat activities, these briefings did not provide any information about specific threats to my family or me," penned Chong in a letter.
"At a minimum, I would have expected my government to have a duty of care to inform me that my family was being targeted."
Note: This report is a breaking news story and will be updated.