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Durham MP states CSIS informed him of interference from China

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

DURHAM: MP Erin O'Toole has reportedly been told by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that China targeted him during his time as the Conservative Party of Canada leader.

At a session of parliament, on Tuesday, May 30th, Durham's MP told members he recently received a briefing from CSIS.

"On Friday, I received a briefing from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, which confirmed several matters to me that I will discuss in a few moments," MP O'Toole said.

In early May, multiple news outlets reported Wellington-Halton Hills MP, Michael Chong was the target of an intimidation campaign by Chinese officials. In his remarks, Mr. O'Toole explained his circumstances were a bit different.

"As I alluded to a moment ago, the facts of the People's Republic of China's campaign against me are separate and distinct from those which led to the Speaker's important ruling, regarding the intimidation campaign orchestrated against the honourable member for Wellington-Halton Hills. In that case, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on intelligence leaks which indicated, an accredited Chinese diplomat was involved in the targeting of this honourable member and his family," he stated. "The facts of my case are distinct, as they relate to an ongoing campaign of foreign interference to target me as both a member of this chamber and leader of the official opposition. Given my respect for the men and women who work for CSIS and the Canadian Security Establishment, I will not provide the specific details from my intelligence briefing, on the numerous threats identified to me, as I do not want any details to reveal sources or methods of collection."

Explaining how China's work impacted him, Mr. O'Toole said, the country "intended to discredit me, to promote false narratives about my policies and to severely obstruct my work as a member of Parliament and as leader of the official opposition."

Mr. O'Toole pointed out, "Intelligence indicated an active campaign of voter suppression against me, the Conservative Party of Canada and a candidate in one electoral district, during the 2021 general election." He also noted, he feels he was hampered by "foreign-controlled social media platforms."

"The briefing from CSIS confirmed to me what I had suspected for quite some time, that my parliamentary caucus and myself were the targets of a sophisticated misinformation and voter suppression campaign, orchestrated by the Peoples' Republic of China, before and during the 2021 general election," he added.

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