Trudeau “tremendously concerned” about possible Chinese police stations in Quebec

Trudeau &laquo ;”extremely concerned about possible Chinese police stations in Quebec

Justin Tang The Canadian Press Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on his arrival at parliament , Thursday, in Ottawa.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, says he is “enormously” concerned about alleged Chinese police stations established in Montreal and Brossard.

“ This is an issue that concerns us enormously and it highlights how not the primary targets of foreign interference, it is precisely the diaspora communities, the communities of Chinese or Iranian origin who are here in Canada,” he said Thursday in a press scrum upon his arrival at the meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Mr. Trudeau noted that his government has been aware for “many months” of the problem of Chinese police stations across the country.

“ We are making sure that the RCMP is following up on this and that our intelligence systems take it seriously ”, he added.

The Gendarmerie Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed the same morning that Quebec's Integrated National Security Team had opened investigations into the centers in the province.

Intimidation of nationals

The RCMP indicated that Chinese Canadians were victims of possible activities of these centres. The police force has assured that it will not tolerate any form of intimidation, harassment or harmful targeting.

In an email, Sergeant Charles Poirier of the RCMP indicated that the police force was carrying out actions “ aimed at detecting and disrupting such criminal activities supported by a foreign state and which may threaten the safety of persons living in Canada ”.

The RCMP says it takes “very seriously threats to the safety of people living in Canada” and said it is “aware that foreign states may seek to intimidate or harm communities or individuals in Canada”.< /p>

The RCMP has also invited anyone who feels they are the victim of bullying or harassment to report it to a dedicated telephone line: 514-939-8301.

The news, which was first relayed by Le Journal de Montréal, means that Quebec would also be targeted by these alleged clandestine police stations. According to the Spanish organization Safeguard Defenders, three of these centers would be established in the greater Toronto area, we learned at the end of October. In all, there are believed to be more than 50 such sites around the world.

The human rights group argues that these stations are used to persuade people China claims to be living fugitives abroad to return to China to face charges.

Also read:

  • RCMP investigating possible Chinese 'police stations' in Canada
  • Ottawa lectured Chinese Ambassador on clandestine police stations

A few weeks after the initial revelations, Mr. Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a tense exchange on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali. The Prime Minister's Office had told reporters that Trudeau had discussed concerns about Chinese “interference” in Canada.

Chinese President Xi Jinping later rebuffed Prime Minister Trudeau, but the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs then qualified, arguing that the president had not criticized anyone and that it was Canada who was disrespectful and condescending.

Election interference

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet has linked these alleged police stations to election interference.

“This is a very, very serious phenomenon,” he said in the foyer of the House of Commons. Our fear is that it will play a role in the next election and in the context of a minority government.

He then again called for a public and independent inquiry, as the Conservatives and New Democrats are also shouting at. However, the Trudeau government is instead proposing to appoint a “ special rapporteur ” who will decide whether this is the right formula.

In the morning, the government House leader, Mark Holland, affirmed that ” absolutely ” he is discussing names with the opposition parties.

But Mr. Blanchet said he wants “ first ” that Mr. Trudeau “ recognizes ” that this is a public inquiry at through the mandate of the rapporteur. As for a list of proposals, the Bloc leader said he had not heard of it. “ If the Prime Minister wants to talk to me about a list of names […] he has my phone number ”, he summarized.