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Vancouver Mayor Criticizes Allegations of Beijing Regime Interference in City’s Election

Vancouver Mayor-Elect Ken Sim arrives for a news conference in Vancouver on Oct. 17, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim is pushing back on recent allegations that the Chinese communist regime played a role in the 2022 municipal election.

“If there’s proof of foreign interference in our election, I want to know about it, because I’m a Canadian,” Sim said in a press conference on March 16. “If there was proof of this, I’d be as mad as hell as anybody else.”

The city’s first mayor of Chinese heritage says that race is a factor in the allegations.

“I’ll just say it: If I was a Caucasian male, we’re not having this conversation,” he said.

Sim was reacting to a Globe and Mail article published on March 16 based on a leaked document from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

The document explains how then-Chinese consul general (CG) Tong Xiaoling sought to mobilize the Chinese diaspora to help elect preferred candidates.

“With regards to the 2022 City of Vancouver mayoral election, CG Tong stated that they need to do all they could to increase the ethnic voting percentage. They needed to get all eligible voters to come out and elect a specific Chinese-Canadian candidate,” reportedly says the CSIS document.

“CG Tong emphasized this work was necessary, as the candidate will rely on those votes,” it adds. “In parallel, CG Tong indicated they needed someone within the Vancouver City Council.”

The CSIS information also spoke of Tong’s desire to groom a local politician who could later reach higher office.

CSIS reportedly stated, “The activity is also consistent with PRC [People’s Republic of China] efforts to have more ethnic Chinese individuals enter politics in Western countries, as they are seen to be easier to influence and access, particularly by leveraging community proxies.”

The CSIS document did not name any individuals.

Sim won the 2022 contest by nearly 37,000 votes against the incumbent Kennedy Stewart.

Stewart, a former federal NPD MP who took positions running counter to the Chinese regime’s, told the Globe he believes he was the target of foreign interference.

The Epoch Times contacted Sim and Stewart for comment but neither responded.

Sim called the allegations without proof a “bunch of insinuations” at his press conference and attributed his win to the hard work of his campaign.

Federal opposition party leaders have commented on the most recent national security leak pertaining to interference in Canada by Beijing.

On March 16, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the allegation “deeply concerning” and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said the leaks show there’s unease within the security establishment.

But Blanchet cautioned against saying the interference has impacted the election because it cannot be demonstrated.

“Does it have an influence? I’d say yes. Did this influence pick the winner? This cannot be demonstrated.”

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.