Canada's chief spy: foreign powers control country's politicians
Canada's chief spy has incensed Chinese-Canadians after he claimed that foreign powers control some of the country's politicians.
By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 1:00AM BST 25 Jun 2010
Canada's Prime Minister Harper walks with China's President Hu
Canada's Prime Minister Harper walks with China's President Hu in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Photo: REUTERS
The comments by Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, in a television interview have been widely interpreted as a thinly-veiled attack on Beijing on the eve of a visit to Canada by the Chinese president Hu Jintao for the G20 summit.
Mr Fadden told CBC that municipal officials and at least two cabinet ministers from two Canadian provinces were "agents of influence" who were secretly working on behalf of foreign interests.
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"We're in fact a bit worried in a couple of provinces that we have an indication that there's some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries," he said.
"The individual becomes in a position to make decisions that affect the country or the province or a municipality. All of a sudden, decisions aren't taken on the basis of the public good but on the basis of another country's preoccupations."
For many Canadians, Mr Fadden did not have to name names for them to work out which to which foreign country he was referring.
As elsewhere, China has been linked with economic espionage in Canada, most recently over reports that its technicians had tried to steal secrets from the aerospace company Bombadier.
Tung Chan, a former Vancouver city councillor and head of an immigrant services organisation, said Mr Fadden's remarks "cast shadows and cast doubts on the loyalty of a whole group of people, particularly those committed to serve the public".
He added: "It's not helpful to what we're trying to do in creating multicultural harmony."
He was echoed by several members of the Chinese-Canadian community, as well as provincial premiers and city mayors.