Michael Chan

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Michael Chan

Is this senior Ontario cabinet minister a foreign agent?

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-making-of-michael-chan/... Making of Michael Chan (Globe & Mail, Wednesday June 17, 2015)[/url]

Michael Chan is a rare politician. Ontario’s minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade considers himself a middleman between domestic and foreign interests, a commercial conduit between his province and the Middle Kingdom.

“For me, it is how I am able to bridge Canada and China,” he told The Globe and Mail in an interview in his Queen’s Park office. “I can be in a position to promote both jurisdictions for the benefit of the people. I think that’s important.”

But Mr. Chan’s bridge-building mission once troubled the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. As [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/csis-warned-this-cabinet-mi... Globe reported on Tuesday,[/url] CSIS was concerned the minister was too close to the Chinese consulate, prompting a senior official to formally caution the province about the minister’s alleged conduct in a briefing that took place in the weeks around August, 2010.

The focus on Mr. Chan comes as Canada moves closer to populous, powerful China, needing its economic muscle but wary of its strong-arm tactics on domestic and overseas opponents. The country’s largest province craves those business links to China, and Mr. Chan is its man. But in this delicate environment, CSIS officials were not the only ones expressing leeriness about Mr. Chan’s ties to China.


[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/michael-chan-requests-publi... Chan requests public apology from Peter MacKay (Globe & Mail)[/url]

Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan is asking for an apology from federal Attorney-General Peter MacKay, who said last week Mr. Chan was subject of “an ongoing investigation.”

“I am requesting a public apology to me personally for your baseless and incorrect comments,” Mr. Chan wrote in a letter to Mr. MacKay on Wednesday afternoon.

Last week, The Globe and Mail revealed for the first time that CSIS told the Ontario government in 2010 it was concerned Mr. Chan might be susceptible to foreign influence. CSIS told Ontario Mr. Chan had asked the Chinese consul-general for help to obtain a special visa. Mr. Chan denies making such a request.

When asked about the Globe story, Mr. MacKay told reporters “it is an ongoing investigation” and that “clearly there are people outside our country, as inside our country, who would seek to exert influence. And I think it is fair to say it is incumbent upon all public officials to be very diligent of how they conduct themselves and to be wary of that fact; wary of who they’re talking to, wary of what, if anything, they would disclose in those discussions.”

The Globe had reported in the story that Mr. Chan was never suspected of espionage or formally under investigation.

The next day, Mr. MacKay did not respond to requests to clarify his comments. He did not answer a question in the House of Commons on the subject.

The day after, Mr. MacKay backpedalled on his earlier comments, saying he was misquoted and he was not commenting on Mr. Chan or confirming there was an investigation.

“To suggest that I have waded into this is a complete falsehood,” he said.