Canadian Politicians Were Targeted by China in 2021, Report Says

A top-secret intelligence report drafted a week before Canada’s 2021 general election warned about ongoing attempts by the Chinese government to meddle in specific races, saying that Beijing had “identified Canadian politicians considered” to be opponents of China.

Those politicians had become the targets of a shadowy media campaign, with suspected links to the Chinese government, that spread “false narratives” about them and encouraged Canadians to vote against them.

The intelligence about possible interference in Canada’s last general election was included in documents released on Wednesday at a public hearing before a commission investigating foreign interference. Their release followed Canadian news reports over the past year outlining the Chinese government’s actions and raised concerns about the vulnerability of Canada’s democratic institutions.

Canadian politicians believed to have been targeted by Beijing also testified at the hearing on Wednesday, saying that they had drawn the ire of the Chinese government by criticizing its record on human rights, among other issues.

Kenny Chiu, a former member of Parliament from the Vancouver area whose 2021 loss has been at the heart of investigations into Chinese election interference,said he was dismayed to learn Wednesday that intelligence officials had been aware of China’s actions at the time of the election but had not told him.

“It’s almost like I was drowning and they were watching,” said Mr. Chiu, a Conservative Party member who was a fierce critic of Beijing’s security crackdown in Hong Kong. He was also the chief proponent of a bill to create a registry of foreign agents in Canada to try to curb foreign interference.

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