(OTTAWA) A lawyer for MP Han Dong has served Global News and its parent company, Corus Entertainment, with a defamation notice over the airing of a report alleging the Toronto lawmaker spoke to a Chinese diplomat to delay the release of two Canadians.

Attorney Mark Polley said he demanded that Global News issue a “full apology and retraction” for publishing what he described as “false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory statements” about Mr. Dong, now Independent MP for Don Valley North.

Last week, the Global Network revealed, under the faith of unnamed security sources, that Mr. Dong allegedly privately advised a senior Chinese diplomat in February 2021 to delay the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Global News had also published allegations that Mr. Dong had profited from Chinese interference in the Canadian electoral process.

The Canadian Press could not independently confirm the allegations against the MP, who has yet to file a statement in court.

A spokeswoman for Global Network and Corus Entertainment said she was unable to comment since both companies had received defamation notices.

Rishma Govani, however, argued that Global was governed by a rigorous set of journalistic principles and practices.

In his written statement, Mr. Dong’s lawyer mentions that the deputy wants to clear his name.

“Mr. Dong respects and supports the essential role that responsible journalism plays in a free and democratic society. Indeed, Mr. Dong’s family came to Canada looking for those same values,” he said.

“He voted in the House of Commons for a public inquiry into foreign election interference because he thinks the truth should be known,” adds the lawyer.