CSIS was secretive when Ford government asked about one of their MPPs.


Article content

When the Ford government went to CSIS late last year asking for clarity on allegations that one of their MPPs was part of a foreign election interference network, they weren’t given access to a vault of secret files.

Advertisement 2

Article content

In fact, getting any information took weeks and what was eventually delivered was general and vague, according to Premier Doug Ford. 

Article content

The Ford government was first made aware of allegations against MPP Vincent Ke in early November when approached with questions by Global News. Global was citing CSIS documents, prepared for the prime minister, alleging that the Chinese Consulate in Toronto had organized money – some $250,000 – and volunteers to assist 11 federal election candidates in the GTA. 

Part of the report stated that a sitting member of the Ontario legislature was involved in organizing the election interference scheme. 

Senior officials in the premier’s office reached out to the Provincial Security Advisor, Chris Letang, to find out if he had received any information from CSIS regarding Ke. According to sources, Letang, a former CSIS agent himself, had not received any information on Ke.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content


We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

A briefing was requested to find out what the intelligence service in Ottawa had on Ke if anything. 

Getting that briefing from CSIS took more than a month but in early December, the premier’s then chief-of-staff Jamie Wallace met with CSIS agents at the offices of Ontario’s Solicitor General on Grosvenor Street in downtown Toronto, a short walk from the premier’s office. 

“Concerns, not evidence,” is how one person familiar with the briefing described what CSIS shared with Wallace. 

There were no hard facts or evidence presented about Ke or the alleged interference network and the CSIS agents spent more time discussing how every level of government and every political party was a target for China’s political interference. 

Advertisement 4

Article content

Wallace shared what he had learned with Premier Doug Ford but without hard evidence, hardly even allegations against Ke, it was decided not to remove him from the PC caucus.  

That changed of course when Ke was named in a subsequent Global story on March 10, 2023. Within hours of the story breaking, Ke had been removed from his role as a Parliamentary Assistant and a short time later announced he was stepping down from the PC Party caucus to focus on clearing his name. 

Ke has always denied the allegations against him, both in person and through his lawyer. 

According to those familiar with the matter, one of the key questions put to CSIS in the briefing with Wallace was whether they had anything that would stand up in court. CSIS, being an intelligence agency and not a police service, doesn’t collect evidence, they deal in information. 

Advertisement 5

Article content

The answer to Wallace’s question was no, CSIS didn’t have evidence but that also isn’t what they do. 

It’s an odd position to put governments in, presenting them with allegations of wrongdoing but not with evidence but expecting them to act. Premier Ford has defended his position regarding Ke and has said that he wants to welcome him back into the PC caucus if he clears his name. 

Without evidence that he can refute or a public inquiry, that will be difficult for Ke. 

While Ford says he believes Ke will clear his name, that’s not the view of everyone in the PC Party, with some questioning why Ke was allowed to run in the first place. Either way, everyone is dealing with shadows, the media outlets who are getting leaks for stories and people like Ke and federal MP Han Dong. who are boxing the shadows leaking the information. 

It’s one reason why a public inquiry, a move I don’t normally support, is required so that the air can be cleared. 


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement 1

Source link

Denial of responsibility! NewsConcerns is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment