Former Conservative MP slams feds for 'betraying him' on foreign interference

At the China inquiry, former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu testified, 'It is almost like I was drowning, and they were watching.' He added, 'The best they could do... is let me know that I am drowning. I needed their help.'

Former Conservative MP slams feds for 'betraying him' on foreign interference
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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Former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu is up in arms after testifying that the federal government “left him to drown” when Chinese agents allegedly targeted his campaign.

“The government doesn’t seem to care,” Chiu testified on Wednesday at the Commission on Foreign Interference.

The China inquiry tabled numerous internal memos to substantiate witness testimony this week, identifying Chiu as a potential target of foreign interference.

“There is a strong case to be made there was a degree of influence exerted by an outside actor in the Chinese community during the 44th general election,” alleged the Conservative Party in a secret Memorandum For The Clerk Of The Privy Council. 

Another SITE document said Chinese proxies targeted Conservative candidates who supported the implementation of a foreign-agent registry.

“You weren’t aware of any of these reports at the time?” asked Commission Counsel Matthew Ferguson. “No,” replied Chiu.

“I have been betrayed,” he added as the former member of Parliament for Steveston-Richmond East. The riding has a substantive Chinese population and is one of four from Greater Vancouver facing sweeping allegations of foreign meddling.

The tenured member of Parliament, allegedly a victim of a clandestine Chinese “misinformation” campaign, introduced Bill C-282, An Act to establish the Foreign Influence Registry, months before the 2021 general election to try and establish the Foreign Influence Registry. 

"When I [went] door knocking…there have been supporters of mine who just shut the door in my face," said Chiu. "There [was] so much hatred that I sense."

Evidence showed Chinese state media apparently posted false reports on Chiu’s bill, claiming it would put Chinese Canadians behind bars for supporting mainland China, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

In actuality, it would have compelled the mandatory disclosure of diplomats acting on behalf of any foreign government, corporation or individual had the legislation passed.

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant,” he earlier said. The MP failed in his re-election bid and the bill collapsed. 

Chiu lost re-election to Liberal candidate Parm Bains by 3,477 votes. Approximately 4,400 fewer residents voted for him in 2021 than in 2019 — of which nearly half translated into Liberal support.

For nearly two years, the Liberal-held Senate has delayed Conservative Bill S-237, An Act To Establish The Foreign Influence Registry.

“The creation of a foreign influence registry has been proposed many times in recent years, but no bill has been passed,” added the report Foreign Interference And The Threats To The Integrity Of Democratic Institutions.

There “is broad support for a registry” in the general public, according to the Public Safety Canada briefing note Foreign Influence Transparency Registry.

The Commons ethics committee in a report last October 24 unanimously adopted Chiu’s proposal for a public registry of foreign agents, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

When asked by Commission counsel what Chiu would have done differently had he known he was targeted in the last election, he replied: “I may not have run for office.”

“As an immigrant it is already very challenging to build a life here in Canada,” continued Chiu, who immigrated from Hong Kong as a schoolboy in 1982. 

The former member of Parliament considered himself “a full-fledged Canadian citizen” when first elected a trustee at the Richmond, B.C. School District in 2011. “When I became a school board trustee, I intentionally severed my ties with relatives in China with the understanding I would put them in danger,” he said.

“In 2021 it seems like my worry came true,” testified the Hong Konger. “I thought I would be protected by my country,” he added. 

“I was exposed, and the government doesn’t seem to care.”

“It is almost like I was drowning, and they were watching,” continued Chiu. “The best they could do … is let me know that I am drowning. I needed their help.”

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