OTTAWA — Former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says Canada’s spy agency told him he would be a target of the Chinese government “into the future” for “an undetermined time.”
O’Toole shared that detail today with MPs on a parliamentary committee probing the issue of foreign interference and the privilege of fellow parliamentarians.
The study was launched amid media reports late last year and early this year that Beijing had allegedly meddled in Canada’s affairs during the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
In May, the federal government confirmed a media report that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had information in 2021 that China’s government was looking to intimidate longtime Conservative MP Michael Chong, as well as his relatives in Hong Kong.
That prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say the spy agency needed to share such information with parliamentarians.
O’Toole says he learned of Beijing’s likely ongoing interest in him when he questioned why CSIS officials used the present tense when referring to him as a “target of interest” during a late May briefing, just before he was set to retire from politics.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2023.
The Canadian Press