(Ottawa) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has closed all Chinese police stations that had been established without fanfare in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia in recent years, says the Minister of Public Safety , Marco Mendicino.
Called to appear before a parliamentary committee examining foreign interference in the federal election, Minister Mendicino indicated that the police had put an end to the operations of these clandestine establishments which allegedly engaged in intimidation maneuvers members of the Chinese diaspora in Canada who are believed to have ties to the Chinese Communist Party regime.
Despite insistent questions from Conservative members of the committee, the minister refused to say whether any charges had been laid in connection with the affair and whether the Canadian government had expelled Chinese diplomats stationed in Canada in retaliation.
“The RCMP has taken decisive action to close these so-called police stations,” said Minister Marco Mendicino, who has been hounded on this issue by elected Conservatives.
The two establishments in question identified by the RCMP would have installed their penates in the Sino-Quebec Center of the South Shore, in Brossard, and in the Chinese Family Service of Greater Montreal.
These two establishments were not included in the list of Chinese “police stations” in foreign territory affiliated with police organizations in China, compiled by the Spanish NGO Safeguard Defenders by translating official Chinese publications. The RCMP had previously confirmed five establishments in Ontario and Western Canada after the release of its report.
Reacting to Minister Marco Mendicino’s remarks, May Chiu, who is coordinator of the Chinatown Roundtable in Montreal, argued that the two establishments in Quebec that were investigated by the RCMP had nothing to do with blame themselves and that they were now threatened with closure. She called the RCMP’s behavior “irresponsible.”
“We have dedicated so many resources to support the only two Chinese community centers in Quebec. Their mandate is to help with the integration of new immigrants, to offer French courses, to bring our elders out of isolation, to help women who are victims of violence,” said May Chiu, who is also a lawyer. , in an email to La Presse.
Chinese Family Services of Greater Montreal director Xixi Li said the two organizations cooperated with the investigation and did not refuse “any request.” But there was “no follow-up and no further communication.”
“Since the beginning of this saga, organizations have called for caution and respect for their right to the presumption of innocence. We deplore the harm caused by the RCMP in the premature identification of our agencies, hasty accusations by the media, and misjudgments by governments,” she said.
She said the two establishments continued to operate despite the loss of funding, as they “have not received any requests for closure from the RCMP.”
During the House of Commons committee meeting, the Conservative Party sharply criticized Minister Marco Mendicino for not expelling any Chinese diplomats following the discovery of Chinese police stations.
“So there was no arrest and no charge. The FBI has laid charges, but not in Canada about these so-called illegal police stations. And you did not expel diplomats. […] What prevents you from taking action? Mr. Cooper said, accusing the Minister of Public Security of showing “tolerance” towards Beijing.
At the end of this tight interrogation, Marco Mendicino replied that he did not rule out any scenario. “We will always keep all options on the table and in consultation with the rest of my colleagues in government, we will take whatever action is necessary,” he said.