Declassified Memo Shows Trudeau Was Warned in 2017 About Chinese Police Investigations in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser sent him a briefing in 2017, warning about unwarranted investigations by Chinese police in Canada, according to a declassified document.The warning came at a time when Ottawa was pursuing closer relations with the communist regime, including a potential free trade agreement. A year earlier, as part of preliminary talks toward a free trade agreement, Canada had also agreed to negotiate a possible extradition treaty with Beijing.The top secret memo, dated June 29, 2017, and titled “People’s Republic of China Political Interference in Canada,” provided a summary to the prime minister. Another stamp on the memo says ”returned from the PM” and is dated July 25, 2017.“I raised the issue of Chinese law enforcement officers conducting investigations in Canada without following proper protocols,” wrote Daniel Jean, who served as the national security and intelligence adviser to the prime minister between 2016 and 2018. He added that he had raised the issue with the Chinese public security vice minister in March 2017.The partly redacted memo was released on April 8 by the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference, which is currently investigating the Chinese regime’s interference in Canada’s elections, as well as clandestine activities from other foreign entities.Despite the national security adviser’s warning, Mr. Trudeau continued to pursue a deepening relationship with Beijing, visiting China in December 2017. The preliminary talks toward a free trade deal eventually stalled during that visit after Canada insisted on including progressive values as part of the agreement.Related StoriesUp until 2019, the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) partnered with China’s Public Security Bureau to train Chinese police in the province beginning early last decade. As well, recent revelations have shown that secret Chinese police stations have been operating in Canada since as early as 2016.A partly redacted national memo sent by the prime minister's national security advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 29, 2017.The relations between Beijing and Ottawa eventually deteriorated in the aftermath of Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, and China’s subsequent retaliatory acts, including the arrest of Canadian citizens.The Epoch Times reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment, but didn’t hear back.In a summary of his interview with a Foreign Interference Inquiry council, dated Feb. 27, Mr. Trudeau confirmed having received the 2017 memo from Mr. Jean, stating that he “remembered having conversations about improving MPs’ awareness” of the foreign interference threat, and noting that “he would have endorsed this type of security briefing as it reflected a more active posture on threats.”Chinese Police Activities OverseasThe Chinese Communist Party is known for conducting various forms of clandestine activities through its law enforcement agencies. This includes “Operation Fox Hunt” and the broader “Sky Net” campaign–covert global anti-corruption operations launched by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2014 and 2015.Public Safety Canada reported that while Beijing uses Operation Fox Hunt to identify individuals accused of corruption and try to repatriate them to China, the regime could also use such tactics to “silence dissent, pressure political opponents and [instill] a general fear of state power on Canadian soil.”In 2022, the Spain-based human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders reported China’s efforts to install more than 100 secret police service centres in 53 countries worldwide. These overseas police centres have facilitated Operation Fox Hunt’s repatriation efforts, the NGO stated.In line with these revelations, the national security adviser cited warnings from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in his memo regarding the malign activities of Chinese threat actors in Canada. These include using intimidation and covert visits by security officials to compel Canadian residents or citizens to return to China.“Canadians of Chinese ethnicity and those who are publicly critical of PRC policies are most frequently subject to such threatening behaviour,” the memo said.The memo also warned of other interference activities by Beijing. These include influencing “the outcomes of Canadian elections” at all levels, pressuring and influencing “Canadian officials into taking specific stances on key issues, and utilizing “contacts or community groups to influence policymakers at multiple levels of government on issues of importance or interest to the Chinese government.”The memo also said that China is trying to regularly influence Canadian media to prevent the publication of content that portrays the regime in a negative light.The Beijing regime is responsible for publishing “purposefully misleading or fabricated material via Canadian media outlets in order to influence the Canadian public,” the memo said.It also noted that in the 2015

Declassified Memo Shows Trudeau Was Warned in 2017 About Chinese Police Investigations in Canada

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser sent him a briefing in 2017, warning about unwarranted investigations by Chinese police in Canada, according to a declassified document.

The warning came at a time when Ottawa was pursuing closer relations with the communist regime, including a potential free trade agreement. A year earlier, as part of preliminary talks toward a free trade agreement, Canada had also agreed to negotiate a possible extradition treaty with Beijing.

The top secret memo, dated June 29, 2017, and titled “People’s Republic of China Political Interference in Canada,” provided a summary to the prime minister. Another stamp on the memo says ”returned from the PM” and is dated July 25, 2017.

“I raised the issue of Chinese law enforcement officers conducting investigations in Canada without following proper protocols,” wrote Daniel Jean, who served as the national security and intelligence adviser to the prime minister between 2016 and 2018. He added that he had raised the issue with the Chinese public security vice minister in March 2017.

The partly redacted memo was released on April 8 by the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference, which is currently investigating the Chinese regime’s interference in Canada’s elections, as well as clandestine activities from other foreign entities.

Despite the national security adviser’s warning, Mr. Trudeau continued to pursue a deepening relationship with Beijing, visiting China in December 2017. The preliminary talks toward a free trade deal eventually stalled during that visit after Canada insisted on including progressive values as part of the agreement.

Up until 2019, the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) partnered with China’s Public Security Bureau to train Chinese police in the province beginning early last decade. As well, recent revelations have shown that secret Chinese police stations have been operating in Canada since as early as 2016.
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A partly redacted national memo sent by the prime minister's national security advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 29, 2017.
A partly redacted national memo sent by the prime minister's national security advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 29, 2017.


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The relations between Beijing and Ottawa eventually deteriorated in the aftermath of Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, and China’s subsequent retaliatory acts, including the arrest of Canadian citizens.

The Epoch Times reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment, but didn’t hear back.

In a summary of his interview with a Foreign Interference Inquiry council, dated Feb. 27, Mr. Trudeau confirmed having received the 2017 memo from Mr. Jean, stating that he “remembered having conversations about improving MPs’ awareness” of the foreign interference threat, and noting that “he would have endorsed this type of security briefing as it reflected a more active posture on threats.”

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Chinese Police Activities Overseas

The Chinese Communist Party is known for conducting various forms of clandestine activities through its law enforcement agencies. This includes “Operation Fox Hunt” and the broader “Sky Net” campaign–covert global anti-corruption operations launched by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2014 and 2015.

Public Safety Canada reported that while Beijing uses Operation Fox Hunt to identify individuals accused of corruption and try to repatriate them to China, the regime could also use such tactics to “silence dissent, pressure political opponents and [instill] a general fear of state power on Canadian soil.”
In 2022, the Spain-based human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders reported China’s efforts to install more than 100 secret police service centres in 53 countries worldwide. These overseas police centres have facilitated Operation Fox Hunt’s repatriation efforts, the NGO stated.

In line with these revelations, the national security adviser cited warnings from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in his memo regarding the malign activities of Chinese threat actors in Canada. These include using intimidation and covert visits by security officials to compel Canadian residents or citizens to return to China.

“Canadians of Chinese ethnicity and those who are publicly critical of PRC policies are most frequently subject to such threatening behaviour,” the memo said.

The memo also warned of other interference activities by Beijing. These include influencing “the outcomes of Canadian elections” at all levels, pressuring and influencing “Canadian officials into taking specific stances on key issues, and utilizing “contacts or community groups to influence policymakers at multiple levels of government on issues of importance or interest to the Chinese government.”

The memo also said that China is trying to regularly influence Canadian media to prevent the publication of content that portrays the regime in a negative light.

The Beijing regime is responsible for publishing “purposefully misleading or fabricated material via Canadian media outlets in order to influence the Canadian public,” the memo said.

It also noted that in the 2015 federal elections, the government issued a reminder to all foreign missions not to get involved in Canadian electoral activities, following intelligence that China was influencing elections at the local level.

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‘Unlikely to Stop’

The 2017 memo highlighted CSIS’s recognition of China as “the most active” country engaged in foreign interference activities in Canada.

In the memo, Mr. Jean voiced concerns about politicians’ lack of awareness regarding China’s influence on Canadian politics, particularly among elected officials at the provincial, territorial, and municipal levels. This unawareness has made them more vulnerable to the regime’s efforts, both within Canada and when travelling abroad, he stated.

To address this concern, Mr. Jean suggested increasing awareness through security briefings before politicians go on international trips, particularly to countries of concern. “More could be done to raise awareness on these issues,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, he noted that despite increased scrutiny, Beijing’s efforts at political influence are expected to persist.

“Efforts to cultivate political influence within foreign governments are unlikely to stop despite Chinese officials’ awareness that they are under scrutiny,” Mr. Jean wrote in the memo.

“Furthermore, in light of Canada’s broad engagement agenda with China, it is likely that such efforts to influence Canadian politicians and interfere in Canada’s domestic affairs will increase in the short to medium term.”

Such foreign interference efforts were aligned with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “increasingly aggressive approach to ideological discipline and domestic social control,” the memo said.

“They are also consistent with Xi’s desire to control and shape China’s narrative both at home and abroad.”

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