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espionage

Canada’s inquiry into China’s election meddling begins with officer saying he dismissed warnings

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Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault was secretly warned by security agents of irregularities in the 2019 election but said because the ‘party’ controls the nomination process he did not do more to look into it.

The public inquiry into alleged meddling in Canada’s two most recent federal elections by agents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began last week with testimony public from Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault, who was secretly warned by security agents of irregularities in the 2019 election but said because the “party” controls the nomination process he did not do more to look into it.

“The Party is the only entity that controls the nomination process,” Perrault testified at the Commission last Thursday.

“I would have to inform the Commissioner of Elections and then she would have to make the determination as to what appropriate action would be undertaken, but I don’t have an enforcement role.”

The inquiry is being headed by Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, who had earlier said that she and her lawyers will remain “impartial” and will not be influenced by politics and began on January 29.

In January, Hogue said that she would “uncover the truth whatever it may be.”

“The role of a Commission of Inquiry is to investigate the facts in order to understand what happened in a given situation. Under its mandate, it carries out an objective search of the truth while identifying specific matters, draws conclusions and make recommendations to the government,” she said.

The inquiry last Thursday learned that security agents had secretly warned Perrault of irregularities that took place at a 2019 nomination meeting in a Toronto riding, Don Valley North.

Nando de Luca, Nando Commission counsel for the Conservative Party, asked Perrault to provide more details about the incident, asking him, “Am I correct those concerns related to the Liberal Party nomination contest?”

“I believe I am not authorized to speak beyond what is in this public statement,” Perrault replied.

“You were informed by the CSIS of one fact-specific matter. Is that correct?” Sheppard asked.

“That is correct,” Perrault replied.

  • Counsel Sheppard: “My understanding is you were informed by CSIS of a fact situation that could have involved foreign interference related to voting in the nomination contest in the riding of Don Valley North, Ontario. Is that correct?”
  • Perrault: “That is correct … ”
  • Counsel Sheppard: “You referred a matter to the Officer of the Commissioner of Canada Elections?”
  • Perrault: “Correct … ”
  • Counsel Sheppard: “Is there anything else you are able to say in a public setting about the information you received from CSIS that we just discussed?”
  • Perrault: “No.”

The Foreign Interference Commission, as it is known, “will examine and assess the interference by China, Russia, and other foreign states or non-state actors, including any potential impacts, in order to confirm the integrity of, and any impacts on, the 43rd and 44th general elections (2019 and 2021 elections) at the national and electoral district levels.”

The first set of hearings, or “Stage 1,” will take place from now until April 10 and include a host of witnesses that will include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many others who have not been named.

Also set to testify is former Liberal MP Han Dong and former Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan, both of whom have been victims of alleged CCP interference.

The “Stage 2” part of the public inquiry will take place this fall and will look at the Trudeau government’s ability to both detect and fight foreign interference targeting Canada’s electoral processes.

The hearings are being held at the Library and Archives Canada building in Ottawa.

Chief Electoral Officer claims it was not his job to ‘certify’ integrity of election

During testimony, Perrault claimed that his agency had done a good job, saying, “I believe we have one of the most robust and complete political financing regimes in the world,” noting that this “does not make it perfect.”

He claimed that it was not his job to in effect police elections, saying that as Chief Electoral Officer “I am not called upon to certify the integrity of an election.”

“What I am called upon to do is account for it and provide evidence regarding my administration of the election for others, including participants who may wish to challenge,” he said.

Gib van Ert, counsel for the Conservative MP Michael Chong, who was the target of election interference from agents of the CCP, asked him, “But you’re concerned about the integrity of elections?”

“Of course,” Perrault replied.

“And so when you are considering the integrity, do I have it right that if you felt 330 of the local elections had integrity but eight lacked integrity, you wouldn’t say to yourself, ‘Well, close enough, we’ve come pretty close to 338,’” asked van Ert, adding, “You are having to hold yourself and your agency to a standard of 338?”

“I would report if I know of incidents that affect the integrity of an election,” Perrault said in reply, adding, “If I am aware of factual information that affects that, even if it is one electoral district, I would include that in my report to Parliament.”

Perrault had earlier told MPs that he saw no evidence of CCP interference but admitted that he did not look into this.

Perrault was the first to testify, earlier told MPs in 2022, “There may be offences that are committed that we find out after the fact and there may be investigations that are or are not underway that I would know about but with the information I have, I have no reason to believe the election was not a free and fair election.”

Perrault has said that he has “no specific intelligence or evidence in that regard” whether the 2019 and 2021 federal elections were disrupted by foreign actors.

When it comes to the CCP, many Canadians, especially pro-freedom Chinese Canadians, are concerned considering Trudeau’s past praise for China’s “basic dictatorship” and his labeling of the authoritarian nation as his favorite country other than his own.

The potential meddling in Canada’s elections by agents of the CCP has many Canadians worried as well.

The federal government under Trudeau has been slow in responding to allegations of CCP election meddling after announcing on September 7, 2023, that it would be launching a public inquiry led by Hogue.

The public inquiry comes after Trudeau launched a failed investigation into CCP allegations last year after much delay. That inquiry was not done in the public and was headed by “family friend” and former Governor General David Johnston, whom Trudeau appointed as “independent special rapporteur.”

Johnston quit as “special rapporteur” after a public outcry following his conclusion that there should not be a public inquiry into the matter. Conservative MPs demanded Johnston be replaced over his ties to both China and the Trudeau family.

To date, the evidence that parliamentary committees have uncovered shows that Canadian authorities were aware that agents of the CCP were targeting MPs from opposition parties but decided against taking any action.

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Crime

The US Canadian border: Greatest number of terrorist watch list individuals being apprehended at northern border

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A Border Patrol agent standing watch at the Montana-Canada border in the CBP Spokane Sector. The Spokane Sector covers the U.S.-Canada border along the northwestern section of Montana, part of Idaho, and the eastern part of Washington.

From The Center Square 

Lack of operational control at northern border poses national security threats

The northern border largely has been unmanned and understaffed for decades as federal reports issue conflicting conclusions about how much, or how little, operational control exists.

Some officials have suggested the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just 1% operational control over the northern border after a 2019 General Accounting Office audit of U.S. Customs and Border northern border operations. But a December 2022 DHS report claimed, “The Border Patrol is better staffed today than at any time in its 87-year history,” noting no surveillance of extensive parts of the northern border existed prior to 9/11.

After 9/11, several federal agencies were combined to fall under the newly created Department of Homeland Security. Within 20 years, roughly 950 miles along the U.S.-Canada border from Washington to Minnesota, and roughly 200 miles along the northern border in New York and Lake Ontario, were under unmanned aircraft surveillance. None of these areas “were covered prior to the creation of DHS,” DHS says, meaning the northern border was largely unprotected since Border Patrol’s founding in 1924.

In 2012, DHS released its first unified department strategy for U.S.-Canada border security, prioritizing “deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration; safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; and, ensuring community resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters.”

Within 10 years at the northern border, more than 2,200 Border Patrol agents were stationed between ports of entry; nearly 3,700 CBP officers were stationed at ports of entry; more than 35 land ports of entry were modernized; and thermal camera systems, mobile and remote video surveillance systems had been deployed.

Havre Sector Border Patrol agent patrolling northern border on an ATV. The Havre Sector covers the U.S.-Canada border along most of Montana’s northern border, and includes part of Idaho and all of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

Despite these improvements, “the northern border is under-resourced by far compared to the southwest border,” former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square. “But at the same time, it still represents significant threats. Cartels are expanding their operations, flying people into Canada, which doesn’t require a visa, presenting an opportunity for terrorist watch-listed individuals to exploit. It’s much easier to get to Canada to come across.

“Data from 39 months shows terrorist watch-listed individuals are coming here every day and they aren’t stopping,” Morgan added.

For years and prior to the current border crisis, there weren’t enough personnel to cover all shifts, and the infrastructure, technology and equipment afforded to them didn’t compare to those at the southwest border, he said. People can easily drive snow mobiles over frozen territory or boats across the Great Lakes in areas that are unmanned, Morgan said, with a previous policy of self-reporting to authorities.

“The northern border represents a threat,” Morgan said. Noting it only took 19 men to carry out the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Morgan has warned that a terrorist threat is already in the U.S. No one knows how many terrorist watch-listed individuals have illegally entered who weren’t caught, multiple officials have told The Center Square.

While much attention has focused on the southwest border, the greatest number of known or suspected terrorists to ever be apprehended in U.S. history were at the northern border in fiscal 2023, breaking fiscal 2022’s record, The Center Square first reported.

This fiscal year through April, the greatest number of KSTs (known or suspected terrorists) continue to be apprehended at the northern border, 143 so far, according to CBP data.

Potential terrorist threats are not new and have persisted for some time, federal reports indicate. One Border Patrol  intelligence report says terrorist threats potentially come from “foreign violent extremists to exploit established alien smuggling routes and networks for the purpose of evading detection en route to the United States.”

Other threats include drug smuggling from Canada into the U.S., connected to “criminal groups with known ties to or hired by Mexican drug trafficking organizations” and human smuggling. In the last few years, human smuggling attempts and apprehensions have significantly increased, The Center Square has reported.

The Center Square first began reporting on northern border national security threats several years ago. Since then, apprehensions of illegal border crossers in the first six months of fiscal 2024 were the highest on record. In the busiest sector of Swanton, Border Patrol agents recently apprehended more people in one week than they did in all of fiscal 2021.

Last month, they apprehended more than 1,400 illegal border crossers, more than they did in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 combined, Swanton Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Robert Garcia just announced, saying it was “another record-breaking milestone in northern border history.”

This is after they apprehended more than 6,700 in fiscal 2023, more than the apprehensions of the previous 11 years combined, The Center Square first reported.

The U.S.-Canada border is the longest international border in the world of 5,525 miles. Unlike the U.S.-Mexico border, there are no border walls or similar barriers along the U.S.-Canada border. Through DHS, CBP officers are tasked with border security at ports of entry and Border Patrol agents between ports of entry along 4,000 miles. The U.S. Coast Guard, working with CBP’s Air and Maritime Operations, covers maritime security.

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espionage

EXCLUSIVE: House Committee To Investigate Spike In Chinese Illegal Immigration Following DCNF Report

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By PHILIP LENCZYCKI

 

Dan Bishop, chair of the subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, told the DCNF that a “wide-open border presents a ripe opportunity for the [Chinese Communist Party] to undermine our national security.”

A House committee is scheduled to examine the historic surge in Chinese illegal immigration next week, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability will hold a hearing on Thursday concerning the roughly 8,000% increase in Chinese illegal immigration the U.S. has experienced since March 2021, a committee spokesperson told the DCNF. The DCNF recently revealed an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) email showing that the Biden administration dramatically simplified the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants in April 2023, which has increased the speed of Chinese illegal immigrants entering the country.

The CBP email directed Border Patrol agents to reduce the 40 questions they were required to ask Chinese illegal immigrants down to just five “basic questions” concerning their “Military Service,” “Universities,” “POB/Region,” “Employment” and “Political Party.”

North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop, chair of the subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, told the DCNF that a “wide-open border presents a ripe opportunity for the [Chinese Communist Party] to undermine our national security.”

“This dramatic surge calls for intense scrutiny — especially as Border Patrol agents have been instructed to decrease vetting for Chinese nationals in order to process them into the country faster,” Bishop said. “As the CCP continues its quest for geopolitical dominance and threatens our sovereignty, we must examine the risks presented by releasing ever-increasing numbers of minimally-vetted Chinese nationals into our communities.”

U.S. authorities have encountered 24,376 Chinese nationals at the southwest border in fiscal year 2024 alone, according to the committee. In February 2024, the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution condemning the Biden administration’s immigration policies, citing the national security threat posed by “Chinese military-aged men” entering the country illegally, the DCNF reported.

Ammon Blair, a former Border Patrol agent and Army veteran, told the DCNF that “being a Border Patrol agent during the surge in Chinese illegal aliens felt like confronting a scene from ‘Red Dawn.’”

“Gradually, it appeared that our role was being coerced by current administration policies, from honorably defending our borders to paradoxically laying down a ‘Silk Road’ for our adversaries,” said Blair, who now works as senior fellow for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “This evolution in policy seems complicit in the CCP invasion and their embedded threats like cyber warfare, drug warfare with Mexican cartel proxies, and economic destabilization.”

The simplification of the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants and other Biden administration policies have “created pitch-perfect conditions” for “the infiltration of Chinese agents of espionage,” Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center For Immigration Studies, told the DCNF.

“Intelligence community assessments show that China intends to ramp up espionage and political suppression campaigns in the coming years inside the U.S. and will need an expanded labor force for the effort,” said Bensman, who is one of three experts scheduled to testify during Thursday’s hearing.

Bensman’s testimony will feature photos of identification cards and passports discarded by Chinese illegal immigrants just after crossing the U.S. southern border, a committee source told the DCNF.

Cory Gautereaux, a small business owner and veteran living near the San Diego border, collected those discarded materials and shared them with Bensman.

Gautereaux told the DCNF that he believes Chinese illegal immigration is a “serious national security threat.”

“If they are discarding their IDs and hiding their identity there is a reason,” Gautereaux said. “Since our elected leaders are reluctant to visit the border, I’ll be glad to physically deliver these items to Washington and testify to what I’ve seen.”

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