Valérian Mazataud Le Devoir From 2018-2019 to 2020-2021, the CSQRS, located in Brossard, received $1.5 million under PASI. The SFCGM, whose premises are in Montreal, benefited from 3 million during the same period.
The Quebec government has ended an annual grant of more than $1 million after two years ago it found management problems in agencies suspected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of concealing “police positions”. police” of the Chinese state in the Montreal area, Le Devoir has learned.
The Center Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud (CSQRS) and the Chinese Family Service of Greater Montreal (SFCGM) have been the target of an RCMP investigation for several weeks following allegations of foreign interference in Canadian and Quebec soil.
The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) confirmed Monday that it has withdrawn its financial support to the two organizations after having checked on their management, during the 2020-2021 financial year.
“Considering the findings raised following the compliance work, the Department has decided to end the partnerships under the agreements signed under the Accompaniment and Integration Support Program (PASI) for the two organizations,” said spokesperson Arianne Méthot.
The MIFI made this decision after reviewing aspects related to governance, sound management and accountability for the period from 2016 to 2020.
The department continues to deal with the two organizations as part of its francization program.
“Increased vigilance has however been exercised with regard to compliance with the commitments provided for in the contracts as well as the emergence of any situation likely to interfere with the proper conduct of the courses,” said Ms. Méthot.
As part of its agreement, the CSQRS and the SFCGM provide premises and ensure the logistics to accommodate students in francization courses, which are taught by professors employed by MIFI.
From 2018 -2019 to 2020-2021, the CSQRS, located in Brossard, received $1.5 million under PASI. The SFCGM, whose premises are in Montreal, meanwhile benefited from 3 million during the same period.
The office of the Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette, relied on the ongoing police investigation.
“It is concerning all the allegations that have come out about this organization,” said spokesperson Alexandre Lahaie.
The director general of the two organizations, Xixi Li, also a municipal councilor in Brossard, did not respond to a request for an interview from Devoir.
Then Liberal MP for La Pinière, Gaétan Barrette intervened with Ms. Li when he was informed of the findings of the MIFI concerning her non-compliant management.
“They did a report and they thought it could be clearer and I agreed to that. I'm not saying there are irregularities,” he said.
Before the RCMP confirmed last week to the Journal de Montréal its investigation into the two organizations, Mr. Barrette had never heard of such allegations about the CSQRS or its executive director.
“When it comes to political interference, no one in the Chinese community tells me warned her in any way,” he said.
Last fall, the RCMP opened a first investigation after receiving information indicating that China had set up police stations and harassed Chinese expatriates in Canada.
Joined by Le Devoir< /i>, a member of the CSQRS board of directors, Bernard Ouellet, claimed that the government of the People's Republic of China has stopped its funding.
“Currently there is no more and it's been a long time, he said. There was nothing hidden in any of this. »
Mr. Ouellet, in office since the end of last summer, expressed his surprise at the RCMP investigation.
“I have no indication that could lead me to believe that there would be an infiltration one way or another,” he said.
Mr. Ouellet, a doctoral student researching the Chinese community, suspects the RCMP confirmed his investigation because they ran out of information.
“It's an investigative technique with collateral damage to the organization,” he lamented.
The CSQRS has also received support from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) since 2019. The MSSS will pay it $175,068 in 2023, as part of the Support Program for Community Organizations (PSOC). The organization received $447,169 in the previous three fiscal years.
The SFCGM, also targeted by the RCMP investigation, has received $410,258 from the MSSS since 2019 under the same program. An additional sum of $189,490 will be paid to him this year.
Danny Raymond, of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, said that the SFCGM file was under analysis following recent revelations.
“This is a very concerning situation, which we take very seriously,” he said, noting that a decision is forthcoming this week.< /p>
The RCMP confirmed to Devoir on Monday that 15 reports have been received regarding allegations of foreign interference since the reports were published last week.
“ We are at the analysis stage,” said Sergeant Charles Poirier.
It was not possible to know how many reports had been received before last week.
“The investigation into alleged Chinese police stations in Quebec has been ongoing for a few weeks now,” Poirier said. […] This investigation would be a clear example of foreign interference on Canadian and Quebec soil. »