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St. Albert MP moves motion to investigate Han Dong leak

St. Albert -- Edmonton MP Michael Cooper calls for RCMP investigation into the alleged leaking of classified materials to former Liberal MP Han Dong and moves motion for Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to hold hearings

St. Albert – Edmonton MP Michael Cooper moved a motion last week to investigate the alleged leaking of classified information to former Liberal MP Han Dong.

The motion calls upon the Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) to gather information from a handful of Liberal party witnesses, as well as David Vigneault, director of CSIS and Michael Duheme, commissioner of the RCMP.

Cooper is a PROC vice chair.

“The leaker compromised CSIS’ sources and methods and undermined a national intelligence operation relating to Beijing's interference,” Cooper said. “They put the partisan interests of the Liberal Party and (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau ahead of national security, and they committed a serious criminal offence.”

The move comes after The Globe and Mail reported on April 10 that in 2019 a Liberal Party member alerted Dong, then a Liberal candidate for the Don Valley North riding in Toronto, that he was being monitored by CSIS.  At the time CSIS had briefed the Liberal Party that it was investigating Chinese election interference in Don Valley North.

Based on the Globe and Mail report, Cooper called on the RCMP to launch a criminal investigation that would uncover the identity of the leaker.

Shortly after Cooper moved a motion for PROC to hold hearings on the leak.

“In leaking classified information, [the Liberal Party member] violated multiple sections of the Security of Information Act. These are indictable offences punishable by up to 14 years behind bars,” Cooper said.

Dong is at the centre of multiple controversies.

Last year a Global News report alleged that Dong advised a Chinese diplomat to hold off on releasing Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the Canadians who were imprisoned in China, possibly as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Earlier this month Jeremy Broadhurst, the Liberals’ 2019 campaign manager, told a foreign interference inquiry that CSIS briefed him about concerns of “irregularities” in Don Valley North. Broadhurst also notified Trudeau about the CSIS investigation. However, based on the intelligence the party received, he recommended that Trudeau not act.

CSIS told Liberal party representatives that Chinese officials were bussing international students to the polls to vote for Dong.

Dong resigned from the Liberal caucus last March and now sits as an independent. He has been firm that the allegations against him aren’t true and is suing Global News for their reporting.

PROC has been holding closed-door meetings about the possibility of investigating the leak. Cooper said he could not comment on what had been said in the meetings.

“But there are no hearings scheduled — so one can draw their own conclusions, given the composition of that committee being controlled by the Liberals with the support of the NDP,” Cooper said.

Last year an independent group of top civil servants released a report that found foreign influence did not impact the outcome of the 2021 election.

However, the panel did find evidence of foreign election meddling, and it recommend that Canadians be informed about “potential” impacts on elections.

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