Ontario cabinet minister slams claims of Chinese influence as debunked, false

Michael Chan, above, in Toronto on August 28, 2013.
Michael Chan, above, in Toronto on August 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan

TORONTO – An Ontario cabinet minister says a newspaper article about concerns from Canada’s spy agency that he was under the influence of the Chinese government is little more than a rehash of debunked, “ludicrous” allegations.

The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warned the Ontario government in 2010 that Michael Chan may have been susceptible to Chinese influence and had “unusually close ties to Chinese officials.”

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In a statement today Chan says the article repeats five-year-old, unfounded suggestions and notes that the paper itself at the time in 2010 called the allegations “reckless, foolish and contradictory.”

READ MORE: Wynne dismisses CSIS concerns about Chinese influence of cabinet minister

Premier Kathleen Wynne says Chan, who is now the minister of citizenship, immigration and international trade, has served with honour in the Ontario government and is one of the hardest-working people she has ever met.

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She says there have been no specific allegations and the concerns are “baseless.”

Chan told the Globe and Mail that CSIS alleged he owned property in China and had asked the then-consul general directly for a visa and that if favours were granted, reciprocation could be expected – allegations he said were not true.

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