NDP MP Olivia Chow slams ‘baseless spy stories’

Hong Kong-born politician urges Harper to censure CSIS chief over foreign-influence claims

Anthony Reinhart and Colin Freeze

From Friday's Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Jun. 24, 2010

Anthony Reinhart and Colin Freeze

From Friday's Globe and Mail

MP Olivia Chow has lashed out at the country’s spy agency for claiming foreign agents are influencing Canadian politicians, and has urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to denounce the “baseless” charges of CSIS chief Richard Fadden before they damage international relations.

“As the leaders of the G20 start arriving in Canada, let us not give in to the politics of fear being peddled by former or current CSIS officials,” the Hong Kong-born Ms. Chow told a hastily arranged news conference Thursday in Toronto, host of this weekend’s summit.

“Baseless spy stories belong in novels and movie theatres,” she said, adding Mr. Fadden’s comments, aired Tuesday by the CBC, “need to be condemned by the Prime Minister of Canada.”

Mr. Fadden, head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, caused a furor when he suggested foreign agents, possibly Chinese, have been pulling strings in Canadian politics. He named no one, but said two provincial cabinet ministers were among officials under influence.

Facing an uproar, Mr. Fadden backtracked and said CSIS was not concerned enough to report the cases to provincial authorities or the federal government’s nerve centre, the Privy Council Office.

Ms. Chow, a New Democrat MP from downtown Toronto and wife of NDP Leader Jack Layton, said Canadians deserve a far fuller explanation.

“Make public the files on all elected officials, name names and give evidence,” she said. “Hiding in the shadows and making blanket statements is harmful and destructive.”

Asked if she thought CSIS had a file on her, Ms. Chow said, “I have no idea. If there is, let’s see the file.”

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on Mr. Fadden’s claims or Ms. Chow’s statements. “The director of CSIS has clarified his comments,” spokesman Andrew MacDougall said.

Meanwhile, the PMO released a statement Thursday trumpeting bilateral discussions between Mr. Harper and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Ottawa, where agreements on tourism, the environment, crime and beef exports to China were signed.

For years, CSIS has raised concerns about China planting foreign operatives in Canada to clandestinely steal secrets, quell dissent in diaspora communities or influence politics.

A 2009 book co-authored by an ex-CSIS agent claimed a “Chinese lobbying organization” in Canada, backed by spies, had convinced MPs to pass a motion in 2007 urging Japan to apologize for atrocities during the Second World War. The motion, unanimously approved in the Commons, was brought forward by Ms. Chow, though she wasn’t named in the book.

The organization, ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia), was also not named, but it sued for libel and won a settlement. The book was reissued with the relevant passages removed.

Ms. Chow was flanked at the news conference by ALPHA founder Joseph Wong, at the agency’s Toronto offices. Mr. Wong, a Hong Kong-born physician who has lived in Canada since 1968, said he was “particularly incensed” when Mr. Fadden backed away from his initial comments.

“There’s a natural question: If there is no solid evidence, why the accusation in the very beginning? On what basis did he make the accusation? Is it on the basis of our skin colour?”

Mr. Wong said ALPHA, which promotes instruction in Canadian schools about the Second World War’s impacts in Asia, has scrupulously avoided dealings with the Chinese government other than to arrange educational trips to China for Canadian teachers. He called on other MPs and the Prime Minister to speak out on the CSIS chief’s remarks.

“There’s no question that we will not allow anyone to cast a doubt on our loyalties in this country,” Mr. Wong said.

Few have felt the brunt of the spy service’s fears like Haiyan Zhang, a Chinese-born Canadian and rising star in Ottawa’s civil service until she reached its core, the Privy Council Office, in 2003.

Ms. Zhang was fired after a CSIS security-screening investigation cited her previous work in Cairo as a journalist for Xinhua, the Beijing-controlled news service, and her attendance at receptions in Ottawa co-hosted by the Foreign Affairs department and the Chinese embassy.

“What is most disturbing about this CSIS allegation [by Mr. Fadden] is that such sweeping statements are accepted as facts without any evidence being presented,” Ms. Zhang said. “If there are proven spies, they should be ousted and charged as they do in the United States. If not, then stop such propaganda which only helps to alienate us and create distrust among all Canadian citizens.”



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre



WHY would Olivia Chow decide to "lash out" at CSIS's warning that China in particular is targeting Canadian politicians?

Canadian men, and Canadian real women who are sisters, mothers aunts and second wives of divorced men who cant ever see their kids again, should carefully note that Jack Layton, is effectively the president of the Canadian Man Hater's association, his opposition to equal parenting, and promotion of hatred towards men over his decades in politics is disturbing in the extreme. It is politicians like Jack Layton who are responsible for our draconian Male Sharia Laws that apply a Male Gender Apartheid in Canadian society that effectively deprives men of legal rights and makes them second class citizens.

Jack Layton and the No Dads Party are a threat to every Canadian male that makes international subversion and terrorism pale in comparison.



The CSIS chief is right on the money and Canadians are lucky to have been so informed of the facts from the one of the most reliable sources of information in Canada.

Every thinking Canadian should keep their eyes and ears open and the pieces on the jigsaw will fall into place.

Canadians only need to look at Australia.
The Prime Minister Mr. Rudd who criticized Israel's use of Australian passports to assassinate the Hamas Leader was recently thrown out of his job as PM to be replaced by Julia Gillard.

Julia Guillard's partner, common law spouse, Tim Mathieson is or was a "hairdresser" until very recently, he was "given a job" by Australia's Number one Israel Lobbyist, Albert Dadon who has also got his strings on the Labor MP Michael Danby , who was coincidentally, the Sargent at Arms for the coup which in a matter of hours, removed Rudd and installed Gillard.

Julia Gillard just happened to be the acting prime minister when Israel launched its invasion of Gaza in December 2008 which cost the lives of a dozen Israelis and over 1300 Palestinians. Despite that casualty count, Julia Gillard publicly criticized Hamas but failed to mention the more than 1300 Palestinians who died.

Australia is also home to a very large extended immigrant middle east group of immigrants and you can bet they won't be voting for Julia Gillard when she pulls her snap election that is probably now only weeks away.

That could be the real reason why Julia Gillard is keeping Rudd out of the ministry where his experience and qualifications make him the obvious choice as foreign minister.