The RCMP alleges a Montreal-based charity, Service à la Famille Chinoise du Grand Montréal (SFCGM) — that advertises itself as a support hub for Chinese immigrants — may be hosting one of two secret Chinese “police stations” in Québec.
According to the charity’s financial records, Ottawa sent $200,128 in taxpayer funds to SFCGM between 2020 and 2022. In addition, the federal government grants and contributions database lists five contributions from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to SFCGM dating back to 2018.
Over the last three fiscal years, the ‘charity’ received $4.45 million in government funding from all levels, mainly from Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration.
The ‘charity’ is the subject of an ongoing RCMP investigation as part of a larger probe to “detect and perturb criminal activities supported by a foreign state that can threaten the safety of people living in Canada,” according to a spokesperson for the national police force.
They contend the funds may support Chinese efforts to intimidate or silence critics of China’s ruling regime.
After Conservative MP Michael Chong learned on May 1 that China targeted his family as part of an intimidation campaign, Chong received two anonymous threats Tuesday evening from people he believed were Communist Chinese agents, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“I have received threats I believe may be related to the People’s Republic of China, and I will just leave it at that,” Chong testified at the House affairs committee. “I have conveyed those threats to the appropriate agencies and authorities in the federal government and my local police.”
“Is there a way for you to give us a general idea of what type of threat it is?” asked Liberal MP Ruby Sahota. He said they were involved in something from the 2021 federal election and travelled outside the country.
“Were threats made to your family in Hong Kong?” asked Sahota. “As with many Canadians with family in authoritarian states, I long ago deliberately decided not to communicate with them,” replied Chong.
According to Action Free Hong Kong Montreal spokesperson Benjamin Fung, critics of China know the regime had an “underground” influence network in Canada.
A 2021 Public Safety Canada memo revealed Chinese proxies harassed students at Canadian universities through the United Front Work Department “to stifle criticism, infiltrate foreign political parties, diaspora communities, universities and multinational corporations.”
The SFCGM received ESDC funding through the federal Canada Summer Jobs Program circa 2018. The amounts totalled $14,822 to $22,989 annually.
“If this is a police station from China, they can use the funds to expand their network and their connections. This is also one way to monitor the many international Chinese students here,” Fung told the Montreal Gazette.
Chinese foreign interference expert, Dennis Molinaro, confirmed that entities sympathetic to Beijing often seek government funding to bolster their legitimacy. If indeed a secret Chinese “police station,” Molinaro said the SFCGM is likely one of many in a network of Beijing-funded organizations receiving taxpayer funding.
On March 14, SFCGM leadership questioned why the RCMP “would publicly name two community centres serving the Chinese communities in Québec, causing serious and potentially irreparable harm to the community.”
On May 5, Senator Yuen Pau Woo called the national police force to “provide information, clarity, and in the meantime, don’t create more problems for the community.”
According to a 2022 document by Safeguard Defenders, more than 50 Chinese police stations exist worldwide, with three secret “police stations” possibly located in the Greater Toronto Area. However, the RCMP received 15 tips about two possible “police stations” in Montreal.