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Government still investigating why threats against Chong not passed up to cabinet

Mendicino says Canada’s priority is holding China accountable for any threatening, harassing behaviour
Conservative foreign-affairs critic Michael Chong rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says the government is still investigating why warnings that a Conservative MP was being threatened by the Chinese government never made it to the desk of any cabinet minister.

Mendicino says Canada’s priority is holding China accountable for any threatening or harassing behaviour to Michael Chong and his family in Hong Kong and discussions about whether to expel diplomats from China are ongoing.

The diplomat Chong was told oversaw an effort to target him and his family continues to work as a consular official for China in Toronto.

But Mendicino says it’s also important to get to the bottom of why the information was never provided to his predecessor Bill Blair, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or to Chong himself.

Trudeau has said CSIS did not tell anyone outside the spy agency about information it had about the threats, but Chong was told the national security adviser was told about it two years ago.

Mendicino and Trudeau say that information was never passed up to them and Mendicino says further accountability within the government is not out of the question.

The Canadian Press

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