Disinfowatch, a Canadian website tracking foreign disinformation, is reporting that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and related actors are targeting the credibility of Chinese-Canadian federal candidates and Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole in the fall 2021 federal election. According to a Disinfowatch report:
September 14, 2021 An article published September 9, 2021 on the CCP-owned tabloid platform, Global Times, questions the credibility of Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and his party’s foreign policy platform on China. The article appears to include a threat – that if Canada elects a Conservative government and that government adopts the policies in the Conservative’s platform, “China will pay back with a strong counter strike and Canada will be the one to suffer. The Global Times article was published in response to the Conservative Party’s foreign policy platform on China. […]
The Chinese diaspora in Canada have also been targeted by Chinese government influence and propaganda. On September 10, 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a statement on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa. In it, the ministry criticized Canada’s human rights record and attacked political leaders who, according to Beijing, “carried out unprovoked attacks on China’s human rights and the rule of law during their debates, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.”
Chinese regime aligned actors have also targeted individual election candidates with information warfare and influence operations intended to discredit and undermine voter support for them. In one such case, a British Columbia incumbent NDP MP, Jenny Kwan, may have been the target of pro-Beijing organizations with possible ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Kwan’s support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and advocacy for immigration and asylum measures for Hong Kongers is likely seen as problematic for the Chinese government.
Read the full report here.
In 2019, the Canadian government established the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) to monitor foreign challenges to the integrity of the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.