Influential Chinese-Canadians paying to attend private fundraisers with Trudeau [investor immigrant angle]

Sigh … One of the better initiatives of the Conservative government was shutting down the business immigrant program after evaluations showed just how flawed it was and just how few benefits it provided Canadians.

And of course the broader ethical issue of such fundraising – paying for access – remains:

Mr. Chan was at the most recent Trudeau fundraiser, which was held on Nov. 7 at the West Vancouver mansion of B.C. developer Miaofei Pan, a multimillionaire from Wenzhou province who immigrated to Canada a decade ago. More than 80 guests got their pictures taken with Mr. Trudeau at the $1,500 per ticket event, including Mr. Chan.

Mr. Pan told The Globe and Mail he lobbied the Prime Minister to make it easier for well-heeled investors from China to come to Canada. He said he told Mr. Trudeau the program put in place by the former Conservative government was “too harsh.”

In exchange for permanent residency, rich immigrants must invest $2-million and are subject to strict audits.

“If they don’t do business over two years here, they cannot stay or they have to leave the country. So I wanted the Prime Minister to know that is not a very merciful policy towards these people because they want to invest or stay,” Mr. Pan said. “It’s all about investment that Canada needs. I have friends, and [they are] wealthy people, who want to stay and invest.”

A Chinese government agency in Mr. Pan’s hometown that builds ties with and keeps tabs on expatriate Chinese, supplied photos of the Trudeau-Pan event to media in China. The Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Wenzhou People’s Government promotes China’s interests abroad, according to former Canadian diplomat and China expert Charles Burton.

“That is an agency of the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Burton told The Globe and Mail. “The fact that the photos appeared in the [Wenzhou Metropolis Daily] in China suggests that the people who participated in that activity must have been tasked by the Chinese state to try and promote the Chinese position with influential people in Canada. In this case, our Prime Minister.”

Mr. Pan is honorary chair of a Chinese-Canadian organization that is an unabashed backer of Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

In 2012, he was part of a campaign by overseas Chinese groups to rally public support for the Chinese government’s position in a dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea that are close to key shipping lanes, bountiful fishing grounds and possible petroleum reserves.

That year, Mr. Pan was quoted in the Macau Daily newspaper saying his organization, the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, had “declared its stand in newspapers” and that “overseas Chinese were responsible for defending China’s territorial integrity.”

In 2015, the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations held a symposium at which speakers backed Beijing’s assertion of title to islands, reefs and banks in the South China Sea, and issued a statement saying it “strongly supports the Chinese government’s defence of sovereignty over the South China Sea.”

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Liberal Party kept the Nov. 7 fundraiser confidential. Neither the PMO nor the party website noted the event. At the time, Mr. Trudeau was in Vancouver to announce a new marine strategy.

“The party has … been clear that not every event is on the party’s national website, while it’s important to note that the Liberal Party of Canada is still the only major federal political party that maintains an active online events listing in any form at all,” party spokesman Braeden Caley said in an e-mail. “All fundraising by the Liberal Party of Canada fully complies with all Elections Canada rules and regulations for political fundraising.”

The Liberal Party would not provide The Globe and Mail with a list of attendees. Mr. Pan said all the guests were his friends, and all are Canadian citizens.

Source: Influential Chinese-Canadians paying to attend private fundraisers with Trudeau – The Globe and Mail

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

One Response to Influential Chinese-Canadians paying to attend private fundraisers with Trudeau [investor immigrant angle]

  1. Sigh… I wonder which is more regrettable, attitude towards pay for access to leadership or attitude towards pay for access to Canada

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