Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Serious concerns about Canada's visa application centre in China

On March 10, 2020, MP Jenny Kwan asked a question in the House of the Prime Minister:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, I have a document that shows the Chinese Communist Party is at the heart of Canada's visa application centre in China. The subcontractor doing this work is a company owned by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. Under Chinese regulations, the chair of the company is the same person as the party's secretary, and the general manager is the deputy secretary. They must execute the will of the party in performing their duties and swear an oath to never betray the party.

If the Prime Minister does not think a Chinese state-owned company should supply X-ray machines for embassies, why should we trust the Chinese Communist Party to run and operate Canada's visa application centres in China?"

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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