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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Canada 'concerned' about Chinese espionage

About the Bournonnais Touch--here's an update from the Globe and Mail: Ex-judge sentenced to six years for taking bribes

I t's worth reading the 'Bourbonnais Touch' (towards the end) from the Asian Pacific Post which shows exactly how the Chinese spy network operates in Canada. An awsome collection of articles on spies can be found on Prime Time Crime blog. Apr. 14 2006 - The federal government is "concerned" that Chinese spies are stealing Canada's industrial and high-technology secrets, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay told CTV.

"We're very concerned about economic espionage," MacKay said in an interview with CTV's Question Period, to be broadcast Sunday on CTV at 12 p.m. ET.

While in opposition, the Conservatives challenged the Liberal-led government to act on reports of Chinese espionage.

While acting as the Conservative foreign affairs critic, Stockwell Day called on former prime minister Paul Martin to address the issue during a visit to Beijing in January 2005. Day is now the public safety minister.

As the opposition leader, Harper himself pressured Martin to confront the Chinese government, quoting estimates by former Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent Michel Juneau-Katsuya on the number of spies operating in Canada.

Now, the new Conservative government appears ready to act.

"It is something we want to signal that we want to address, and to continue to raise with the Chinese at the appropriate time," MacKay said.

Intelligence files reportedly suggest that an estimated 1,000 Chinese agents and informants operate in Canada. Many of them are visiting students, scientists and business people, told to steal cutting-edge technology.

An example being touted as copied technology is China's Redberry -- an imitation of the Blackberry portable e-mail device, created by Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd.

"The Blackberry RIM company is a perfect example of the type of technology and the economic impact that protecting that kind of trademark," said MacKay.

According to a 2003-2004 CSIS report to Parliament, foreign spies are trying to uncover ''Canada's scientific and technological developments, critical economic and information infrastructure, military and other classified information, putting at risk Canada's national security.''

However, CSIS does not specifically mention China in the report.

"It would appear, based on evidence and reporting, that there is a fair bit of activity here," MacKay said.

Juneau-Katsuya said the former Liberal government knew of the espionage, but were too afraid to act.

"We didn't want to piss off or annoy the Chinese," said Juneau-Katsuya, who headed the agency's Asian desk. "(They're) too much of an important market."

However, he argued that industrial espionage affects Canada's employment levels.

"For every $1 million that we lose in intellectual property or business, we lose about 1,000 jobs in Canada," he said.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa has denied the spy claims.

Meanwhile, a recent decision to allow Chinese political dissident Lu Decheng, 43, to emigrate to Canada has already raised tensions between Beijing and Ottawa.

China imprisoned Lu for nine years after he defaced a portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square with paint. He received an immigration visa from Canada earlier this month.

Russia has also attempted to steal Canadian technology, leading to the arrest of two operatives in 1996.

With a report by CTV's Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife

Related Articles:

Ottawa promet de debusquer les taupes

Chinese Defector Tells of Government Plot

Chinese spies infiltrate high-tech sector CSIS says foreign students, visiting scientists being used to steal Canada's best science, technology

The Bourbonnais Touch

Here's another entry for your collection of corrupt Immigration practices from the September 21, 2004 issue of the Asian Pacific Post: "A high ranking Canadian diplomat based in China has left his post suddenly [whereabouts unknown] after he was suspected of accepting bribes to help Chinese nationals enter Canada illegally. ...The highly sensitive and embarrassing cases are being kept under tight wraps in Ottawa which has refused to acknowledge the investigations into the passport thefts and the probe ... but sources told the Asian Pacific Post that the key suspect is a Canadian of Chinese origin who was originally posted to the Canadian Trade office in Shanghai in 1999 and later to the Immigration section of the Canadian embassy in Beijing in 2001. ... 'He is thought to have made well over a million dollars before he bolted a few days before his posting expired,' said a source. Preliminary investigations into the suspect's connections have linked him to at least one school specializing in teaching English to foreign students in Vancouver.

Maria Iadinardi of Immigration Canada, Kimberly Phillips of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Sgt. Gilles Deziel of the RCMP all regurgitated the same government public relations mantra when contacted by The Asian Pacific Post — We cannot confirm or deny any on-going investigation. 'It is the line that is commonly used when Ottawa doesn't want the public to know about a scandal,' said Brian McAdam, a former Foreign Service officer who blew the whistle on another immigration corruption scandal involving China and Hong Kong." " The Asian Pacific Post has learned that the ... 'suspect would scan visa applications that had been previously given negative recommendations by Immigration Program Assistants, contact the applicants and fix a price [$10,000 to $20,000] that would overturn the negative recommendation and result in the issuing of visas,' said the source. 'He would select the ones from among those recommended for refusal that looked the most promising from the squeeze aspect and have them come in for an interview at the Immigration Office.

He would conduct the interview with no witnesses of course and show the subject his file where it was recommended for refusal before making his pitch. The applicants would then jump when they arrived in Canada, some claiming refugee status…. It is a good way to make money and lack of oversight makes it fairly safe as long as you don't get greedy,' said the source. It is not known how many individuals, students and bogus Chinese business delegations the suspect helped into Canada but the source indicated that it was 'many dozens.' [The source suggested] Ottawa needs to do an audit of visas over the last five years in Beijing to determine the scope of the scandal. [What for? It's not like anyone ever answers for greasing their way in -- Ottawa has asked us hundreds of times to commiserate with "these victims of unscrupulous renegades"]

A source familiar with fake student visa applications in China said nearly 50 per cent of them have bogus information on them. There are an estimated 130,000 foreign students in Canada, with the bulk of them coming from China. 'There have been many memos to Ottawa about this scandal from last year where certain officers were turning a blind eye to high risk applicants in what were plain to see education scams,' said an Immigration Canada officer based in Ottawa. 'In many of the cases they lie about the amount of money they have but somehow either because of policy advice or some senior officer, they get the visas,' he said. What is most worrisome for officials is that some of those who have gained entry into Canada with the help of insiders at the Canadian embassy in Beijing are spies, terrorists and gangsters. Chinese spies posing as business delegates is an old ruse used by China's intelligence service. [A bit late to worry when we're negotiating to sell them Noranda] Brian McAdam, who worked as an Immigration Control officer in Hong Kong in the nineties was among the first to alert Ottawa to insiders with high security access helping unqualified applicants enter Canada. 'I am not surprised that this is still happening,' said McAdam, who was commended for his work on identifying Triad members and Chinese spies entering Canada and later ostracized when he questioned mandarins in Ottawa about their lack of action.

His memos and reports formed the basis for an investigation by the RCMP which eventually landed on the lap of Corporal Robert Read. The core allegations involved rich Chinese families trying to buy influence with members of the Canadian diplomatic corps, organized crime infiltration of immigration computers and the corrupt activities of an immigration consultant with strong connections who had brought in over 3,000 Chinese immigrants into Canada. The RCMP file languished for several years until Read took it over.

Frustrated at being stymied by bureaucrats and concerned that no one was addressing evidence of possible wrongdoing by mission employees, Read took his case to Vancouver Province news editor Fabian Dawson in August 1999. ... As a result of Read‘s expose, the RCMP fired him. ... Last year an RCMP oversight committee vindicated the officer for blowing the whistle [but] the RCMP has refused to reinstate Read." You're not the only one maddened by the alarming regularity of these stories. The Asian Pacific Post editorial of the same day: "Here we go again. ... Judging by the track record of Immigration Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs, a witch hunt will probably be conducted to find out who leaked the information. That will likely be followed by a watered down blinkered investigation, probably by some outsider hired at great expense, which will conclude that the case is not as bad as it is made out to be. ... Hiding behind privacy legislation, the basic message to Canadians is that anything of this sort is none of your business."

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