Trudeau Loses Dong: MP Embroiled in China Interference Scandal Resigns From Liberals

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a press conference with China's Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Fred DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images)
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images

Canadian Liberal MP Han Dong has resigned from his party after new allegations he recommended the Chinese Communists keep two Canadians imprisoned to help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign.

The now-former Liberal Party MP has been accused of advising a Chinese diplomat to delay the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, known in Canada as the “Two Michaels,” who were in Chinese custody for over two years in what was seen by many as retribution for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

According to the new allegations, that broadcaster Global News reported on Wednesday, Mr Dong allegedly told Han Tao, China’s consul general in Toronto, to delay the release of the two Michaels as the release could benefit the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).

Dong later rejected the allegations saying, “At every opportunity before they returned home, I adamantly demanded their release to Canada without delay. Any suggestions otherwise are false and are attempts to mislead you and your readers, and slander me.”

Dong also admitted that he had a conversation with Han Tao, a fact that the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Justin Trudeau claims it did not previously know about.

Just hours after the allegations from Global News, Dong announced he would resign from the Liberal Party and will sit as an Independent member of the House of Commons.

“I’m taking this extraordinary step because to [sit] in the government caucus is a privilege and my presence there may be seen by some as a conflict of duty and the wrong place to be as an independent investigation pursues the facts in this matter,” Dong stated on Wednesday night in the House of Commons.

“I will be sitting as the Independent so that business of government and indeed the bills of Parliament is not interrupted as I work to clear my name and the truth is presented to Parliament and to Canadian people,” he added.

The allegations are just the latest directed at Dong after leaks from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on Chinese Communist Party election interference in Canada named him specifically as a beneficiary of alleged interference.

The prior allegations relate to accusations that the CCP bussed in Chinese foreign students with fake addresses during Dong’s nomination as a candidate in the 2019 federal election.

Prime Minister Trudeau defended Mr Dong saying, “I want to make everyone understand fully that Han Dong is an outstanding member of our team and suggestions that he is somehow not loyal to Canada should not be entertained.”

Other claims, meanwhile, suggested that Trudeau had not only known of the concerns of CSIS but ignored them and told Dong that the intelligence agency was investigating him.

Canadian media also highlighted the fact that Dong had avoided votes condemning the CCP treatment of the Uyghurs in parliament despite being in parliament for other votes that took place on the same day.

The Chinese election interference scandal has seen opposition parties demand a public inquiry but Prime Minister Trudeau has, instead, appointed former Governor General David Johnston as a special rapporteur to determine whether an inquiry or other probe is required.

Some have criticised the appointment of Johnston, who is noted to have been a long-time family friend of Trudeau and his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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