Chinese-Canadians demand explanation from CSIS head
Prominent members of Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian community are asking the head of the national spy agency to meet with them and explain his recent allegations that some B.C. politicians are under foreign influence.
Richard Fadden director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, dropped the bombshell on June 22, alleging that cabinet ministers in two provinces and several municipal politicians in B.C. are under the control of governments in China and the Middle East.
He declined to name any of the politicians under suspicion.
At a press conference on Friday, National Congress of Chinese-Canadians chair David Choi said that his group, along with the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, has sent a letter to Fadden, inviting him to visit Vancouver and explain himself.
"A cloud has been put on Canada's diverse community," Choi said.
"The damage is done and it is appalling that it has yet to be corrected."
He added that Fadden's remarks have sent a troubling message to Canadians: "Watch thy neighbours -- especially those that originate from another country."
Choi said that Fadden has had enough time to reflect on his remarks, and it's now time for him to meet with Chinese-Canadians to see the impact his allegations have had.
Vancouver Coun. George Chow went one step further, asking for Fadden to formally retract his statement and issue a public apology.
"What was Mr. Fadden trying to say? Is this a form of McCarthyism? Or is this a new method of catching spies by public innuendo?" Chow asked.
"How is this going to affect me in the ballot boxes, being an ethnic Canadian of Chinese heritage? How is this going to affect Chinese Canadians getting jobs in government, research centres and industry in general?"
Last week, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell denounced Fadden's remarks, calling them "unprofessional" and "unacceptable."
Fadden issued a statement clarifying his comments on June 23, saying that foreign interference is "a common occurrence in many countries around the world and has been for decades."
He said local authorities have not been informed about the suspicions because, at this point, they are not of sufficient concern.