Quebec Cut Funding to Groups Doubling as Alleged Chinese Police Stations

By Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret
March 13, 2023Updated: March 14, 2023

Montreal area organizations under police investigation as presumed Chinese police stations have had their government funding cut after an audit, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration has indicated.

The ministry undertook verification work in 2020-21 with the Centre Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud (CSQRS) in Brossard and the Service à la famille chinoise du Grand Montréal (SFCGM). Both organizations provide services to Chinese immigrants.

The RCMP announced last week it was investigating the entities in a foreign interference probe.

“Given the issues raised following the audit, the Ministry has decided to end its partnership” with the organizations, spokesperson Arianne Méthot told The Epoch Times in a French statement.

She said the audit sought to ensure the organizations were respecting their obligations with regard to programs to integrate newly arrived immigrants (PRInt and PASI).

Other areas examined were aspects related to governance, sound management, and accountability.

Méthot said she wouldn’t comment on the allegations that the entities host Chinese police stations but stated that the ministry is open to collaborating with the authorities and would share all relevant information.

Both organizations are managed by Brossard city councillor Xixi Li.

Based on official online records, the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration gave $1,948,221 to Sino-Québec from 2012 to 2020 under its PRInt and PASI integration programs.

The ministry also gave the SFCGM $4,989,694 in the same period and under the same programs.

Data provided by the department shows the government is still funding the organizations’ language training classes for immigrants. Since 2018, Sino-Québec received $243,831 and the SFCGM $522,451 for that program.

The websites of both entities under RCMP investigation mention a number of partners at the government level, including the Quebec Ministry of Health.

A spokesperson for the ministry provided to The Epoch Times the amounts given to the organizations over the past four years.

Sino-Québec received $622,237 and the SFCGM $599,748.

At the federal level, Employment and Social Development Canada is also listed as a partner to both organizations.

A spokesperson said the department is working on a request to provide details on the specific funding amounts.

The RCMP indicated on March 13 that it has so far received 15 serious tips regarding the two presumed Chinese police stations.

“We are carrying out police actions aimed at detecting and disrupting these foreign state-backed criminal activities, which may threaten the safety of persons living in Canada,” said the force last week.

The RCMP says it has disrupted the operations of other Chinese police stations in Ontario and B.C. by posting uniformed officers at the locations.

Meanwhile, at the city level where Xixi Li is a councillor, Brossard Mayor Doreen Assaad has requested that Li step aside during the probe given the information to which elected officials have access.

She also noted having made a complaint against Li to the provincial Chief Electoral Officer regarding the 2021 municipal contest.

Neither Assaad nor Li have responded to requests for comment.

Quebec Conservative Party Leader Éric Duhaime wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer on March 10 to request an investigation into Li.

He also wrote on March 13 to the province’s municipal board asking for a decision on whether Li should step aside during the investigation.

Duhaime’s letter is based on allegations against Li first reported by the Journal de Montréal that she used her organizations to tell electors whom to vote for while using the logo of Élections Québec. The Epoch Times has seen copies of postings on the Chinese social media platform WeChat that the allegations are based on.

The Epoch Times reached out to provincial electoral body for comment but didn’t hear back by publication time.