TORONTO—A former staffer in Liberal MP Geng Tan’s office who says she had an extramarital relationship with the MP alleges she was wrongfully dismissed from her job and hasn’t been paid child support for the child he fathered with her.
Ying Yu, who is in her 50s and is a leader in Toronto’s Chinese community, says the two entered into a relationship in 2013 and eventually had a child together, who is now 2 years old. Yu says she has been asking Tan for support and to reinstate her job for some time, but her requests have been ignored. She says she wanted to take legal action against Tan last year but decided to wait until his term as an MP is over.
However, after some consideration, she decided to break her silence following Tan’s abrupt cancellation of a meeting to discuss the situation with her, she told The Epoch Times.
“We were supposed to meet for discussion on Saturday, June 15, but he cancelled two hours [before the meeting.] The next day, he declared that he won’t [seek re-election],” Yu said.
Tan, who was elected as an MP for the newly created riding of Don Valley North in the 2015 federal election with a 14 percent margin, made a surprise announcement on June 16 that he won’t be running in the this year’s election to “spend more time with family and pursue other careers.”
Reports about Tan’s alleged affair had been circulating on Chinese media for a few months before peaking in May. That was when Yu made a post on WeChat, a Chinese social media platform, saying the father of her child doesn’t allow her to talk to anyone and that she was suffering from depression and looking for ways to commit suicide. She didn’t name Tan in the post, but the details she provided closely matched those of Tan. The issue created controversy in the Chinese community, with many online posts and commentaries saying Tan should resign for his alleged conduct.
Tan is the first mainland Chinese immigrant to become a federal member of Parliament. Prior to becoming an MP, he was active in a number of Chinese community organizations known for their close ties to Beijing, such as the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations, and the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (now known as CPAC), among others.
In a letter sent to Tan in May 2017, a copy of which was obtained by The Epoch Times, Yu’s lawyer claims that the two started a relationship in 2013, but the relationship ended in October 2016 after Yu became pregnant with his child.
Lawyer Lai-King Hum wrote that Yu, who volunteered in Tan’s campaign, was earning an income of over $200,000 prior to starting work at Tan’s office in December 2015 after Tan won his seat that October. However, she was fired five months later at the direction of Tan’s wife, Hum wrote.
“She was provided with no notice of the termination of her position,” she said.
Hum said her client—who attempted suicide several times—is seeking “an amicable resolution” of the issues, including the reinstatement of her job and a dialogue to assist her in recovering from her mental distress.
In February 2018, another lawyer representing Yu asked Tan in a letter to provide child support for the daughter he allegedly fathered. Based on an assumed annual income of $170,000 for an MP, the lawyer said Yu is seeking $1,443 per month in child support.
Yu said she received a letter from Tan’s representative on June 21 but she didn’t want to disclose its contents.
Yu chronicled her experience of the relationship with Tan in a post in Chinese on WeChat on June 22. In it, she claimed that “there are other causes other than his affair with me that forced him to retreat from seeking re-election.” When asked to elaborate, Yu told The Epoch Times she doesn’t want to comment further at this time.
Attempts to interview Tan himself were unsuccessful.
In an emailed statement, Tan said that in 2014 he made a sperm donation to Yu and her husband at Yu’s request, without Tan “having any rights and obligations relating to the child.”
Tan noted that Yu was treated fairly during her employment at his office and that she understood the terms of her employment, “including the duration of the employment.”
He added that if Yu thought she had a case, she should have pursued the issue in court, and if she chooses to take legal action now, “I will strongly defend the same on facts and the law.”
Yu told The Epoch Times that she has decided not to initiate court proceedings for child support until Tan’s current term in office ends.
In the June 22 post on WeChat, which includes photos of Yu and Tan holding the baby, Yu claims they both decided “to have and raise a child of our own together.”
With reporting by Becky Zhou