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Sen. Victor Oh says Chinese Canadians need to fundraise to sue ‘messy reporters’

A Canadian senator says he wants Chinese Canadians to set up a national foundation that would focus on raising money to fund lawsuits against “messy reporters” and politicians who “try to smear” the community.

A video of Conservative Sen. Victor Oh making the remarks was uploaded to the social media platform WeChat earlier this month, showing him addressing a group at what was described as the Montreal Chinese Community United Centre.

The Canadian Press obtained the video, which shows Oh saying in Mandarin that “we need to raise money to cover costs for (people affected) by all of these unreasonable reporters who try to smear Chinese and discredit Chinese.”

The senator says “we need to take legal action to deal with the messy reporters, newspapers and politicians” and that a national foundation would also help support young people to get involved in politics, including through scholarships.

The comments were first reported in English by Found In Translation on Substack.

Oh was not made available to answer questions at an event he attended in Ottawa today and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the video, Oh said those who “smear” the community have not accepted the findings in an initial report from former governor general David Johnston, whom Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed to investigate allegations of foreign interference in the past two federal elections. 

Johnston’s report found that some media reporting around allegations that China meddled in the 2019 and 2021 elections lacked context.

It also acknowledged that some intelligence confirmed attempts by Chinese officials to gather information about Canadian parliamentarians. But Johnston said the intelligence he reviewed cannot not be shared publicly. 

He announced earlier this month he would resign as special rapporteur, citing a politically charged atmosphere around his work.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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