With Canada’s foreign interference inquiry barely a week into its mandate, independent MP Han Dong — a person of interest regarding alleged Chinese interference — may return to the Liberal caucus sooner rather than later.
In February 2023, Global News alleged that Dong told a Chinese diplomat to hold off on freeing Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Dong left the party to contest the allegations that he had meddled in the detention of Kovrig, a former diplomat, and consultant Spavor.
Dong left the party in March to contest allegations that he meddled in the detention of of Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
The then-independent MP filed a $15 million defamation suit the following month against Global News and its parent company, Corus Entertainment.
The publication released a statement claiming it "is governed by a rigorous set of journalistic principles and practices,” before Dong filed for litigation.
Dong told the CBC he met with Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc last week and is awaiting his fate on a potential return to the party.
During their conversation, LeBlanc informed Dong that he would speak with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and continue to review the situation internally.
LeBlanc said he will have more to say in due time.
"I hope to rejoin the caucus as soon as possible," Dong told the CBC last week.
The MP has not disclosed details on his ongoing litigation since going public in April.
"I can't talk about the litigation because it's before the court, but what I can say is it's in the discovery phase, and I look forward to clearing my name once and for all during the trial," said Dong.
Former special rapporteur on foreign interference, David Johnston, released a May 23 report that found "irregularities" in Dong's nomination for the 2019 federal election, citing a "well-grounded suspicion that the irregularities were tied to the PRC consulate in Toronto, with whom Mr. Dong maintains relationships."
But Johnston said he found no evidence that Dong knew about China's alleged interference in his nomination.