Senator Asks Why ‘Illegal Chinese Police Stations’ Still Operate in Canada After Report Identifies 2 More

Senator Asks Why ‘Illegal Chinese Police Stations’ Still Operate in Canada After Report Identifies 2 More
Conservative Sen. Don Plett in a file photo. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
Peter Wilson

Sen. Don Plett on Tuesday questioned the Liberal government’s representative in the Senate, Sen. Marc Gold, as to why “illegal Chinese police stations,” two more of which were identified in Canada by a new report, are still being allowed to operate unimpeded.

“Your government has told us that it is taking the matter seriously and investigating,” Plett, a Conservative senator and leader of the opposition in the Senate, said during the Senate’s question period on Dec. 6. “Why then are we having to find out what is happening in our own country from an organization operating overseas?”
Plett was referring to the report “Patrol and Persuade” published on Dec. 5 by the Spain-based human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders, which found two additional unofficial police stations being operated in Canada and a total of 48 more outposts across the world.
The group’s previous report, published in September, found that 54 overseas Chinese police service stations have been operating around the world, including three in the Greater Toronto Area.

Safeguard Defenders’ findings brings the total number of known unofficial Chinese police stations operating outside China to 102.

Plett asked Gold if the federal government was aware of these Chinese police stations in Canada prior to the release of the Safeguard Defenders revelations.

“If so, why was it not shared with the public? And most importantly, why are these illegal police stations still operating on Canadian soil?” he asked.

Gold said the RCMP is investigating the reports of Chinese police stations and added that if they are found to be true, they “would be entirely illegal, totally inappropriate, and would be the subject of very serious representation.”

In late October, the RCMP began investigating reports of three Chinese police outposts operating in the Toronto area.

“Does the government have any knowledge of how early these stations began operations in Canada? Or was this under the government’s radar for six years? Plett asked Gold.

“I cannot answer that question for several reasons,” Gold replied, saying that any such information would pertain to national security and can’t be publicly disclosed.

In the House

Conservative MP Michael Cooper also questioned the Liberal government earlier this week in the House of Commons about the Chinese police stations, asking when the government first became aware of their presence.

“Why didn’t the government take any action to stop the establishment of these police stations?” asked Cooper on Dec. 5.

“Any report of harassment and intimidation of individuals in Canada is troubling and will not be tolerated,” said Liberal MP Pam Damoff, the parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

“Where there is credible evidence of foreign interference, Canada’s security and intelligence agencies use the full extent of their mandates to respond to these threats.”

Andrew Chen contributed to this report.