In support of CSIS Director Fadden...
David Harris has a brilliant piece in the Calgary Herald...
And then there is China. Fadden rightly signalled that China is a major problem in the foreign-influence department. In Canada, Beijing spies, bullies recalcitrant Canadian Chinese, funds "spontaneous" pro-Chinese demonstrations, and otherwise interferes in our democracy. It seduces politicians, public servants, academics, lawyers and other professionals with ego-boosting, expense-paid China tours and free -- albeit wired -- accommodation. All this, to buy access and influence. And there are indications that they're getting it.
Some current and past Department of Foreign Affairs' officials sit happily on the board of a major China-connected trade organization, their internationalist consciences un-niggled by China's harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners' organs. Given current benefits and future considerations, we should ask how such extracurricular involvement translates when bureaucrats and politicians go back to the office, build policy and hire future bureaucrats. The fact that some prominent beneficiaries of these networking systems graduate seamlessly into "consulting" in China, should be a big concern to the citizens they supposedly serve.
Then there was the former member of Parliament and earnest defender of democratic Taiwan's independence. After a few too many Mainland boondoggles and hostesses, the MP suddenly embraced Beijing's Taiwan-destroying "One China" policy, pressing this on Canadian ministers and officials.
Does Canada have the equivalent of the cashiered Afghan official who allegedly accepted multi-millions to -- as Christopher Hitchens put it -- "steer an enormous copper-extraction deal to China, a country whose resource imperialism is already a disgrace everywhere from North Korea to Darfur?" Hard to guess. But it will be worth watching the future career paths of Canadian ministers, officials and lobbyists who secured exceptional approvals from Ottawa for recently-announced extraction deals with Beijing-backed companies.
Fadden's initiative has been followed by confusion about its timing and prime ministerial support. Sensing weakness, several politicians and opinion-makers -- including a noticeable complement of Chineseconnected ones -- have burst into hysterical ferocity, defending what they are pleased to regard as their honour. And perhaps other interests.
Even the diversity racket pitches in. Playing the "racism" trump, a voice or two from at least one publicly-supported immigrant settlement organization that is heavily dependent on Chinese immigration, claims absurdly that Fadden's remarks interfere with "integration." Guiltifying spectres are conjured from wartime Japanese-Canadian internment, plus generations-old images of Chinese immigrants without voting rights. "This type of allegation, then, true or untrue, is just not helpful," a settlement lobbyist told the appreciative Vancouver Sun.
"True or untrue?"
Someone missed the memo from Han Guansheng, the Chinese Security Bureau defector who pinpointed Canada as the country most riddled with Chinese spies.
Will the pleading backfire and encourage more questions about how our elites govern, and what they do in their spare time? One thing is certain. Where our country's self-determination is at stake, Canadians must not allow shrill, hurting -- and possibly heavily vested -- individuals to bury what has taken so long to bring to light.
Kudos to Fadden.
A lawyer with 30 years in intelligence affairs, David Harris is director of INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc, has consulted with intelligence organizations in Canada and abroad , and served with the Canad ian Security Intelligence Service in 1988-90.