Mr. Speaker, I think I left off on the belt and road initiative, which is a policy that seeks to strangle independent nations and bend their resources and sovereignty to the will of Beijing.
To say the pattern is not happening here would be naive. The most obvious initiative is the supply of Huawei geared to the building of our 5G network. Security analysts have consistently raised the alarm that any Chinese company operating abroad, be it Huawei, China Telecom, Comnet, etc., holds its first and foremost loyalty to Beijing. The obvious security threat is the exchange of sensitive security information among our allies, be they Five Eyes, NATO, etc., but it is actually much deeper.
The Government of China has learned that the new gold is data. Exchanges among and between companies of hugely valuable intellectual property can be, and are frequently, hacked, but the most insidious use of the control technology is people. The Government of China, through its various affiliates, uses artificial intelligence capability and its control of networks to “scrape facial recognition data to control populations.” These systems are already operative in China
Therefore, when all our allies, NATO, Five Eyes and Sweden, which is largely a neutral country, and companies such as Telus, Bell, Rogers, etc. ban Huawei and other Chinese companies, they are doing it for good reason. It is not only in our national security interest, but it is also in our interest to protect and secure corporate data. However, most important, it is the right of every citizen to expect that the Government of Canada will protect his or her basic freedoms of speech, movement, worship, etc. from the intrusions of a foreign government.
According to Global Affairs Canada, as of March this year, China had 163 accredited diplomats working in Canada as compared to a mere 146 for the United States, far and away our most important economic and political partner, and as compared to 22 from the United Kingdom, far and away our second-most important political partner. Interestingly, twice the number of Chinese diplomats are located in Toronto as American diplomats. Is this not curious? Should we all believe that these diplomats are fervently working to foster peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between our two nations or is there something else we should believe? What are 43 accredited Chinese diplomats doing proximate to the largest research university and health network in Canada? We have seen that some universities have felt it necessary to disinvite certain Confucian institutions from their campus.
I realize that all of this sounds slightly paranoid, but maybe I can, in closing, share a little experience I had in the last election.
A small number of Liberal candidates were invited to the campus that is proximate to my riding, the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. After the usual set of speeches and questions and answers, a young woman came up to me to describe her experience. Her name is Chemi Llamo, and she was elected as the student president of the University of Toronto campus. She is Tibetan. After her election, her instagram was flooded with literally thousands of complaints about her election, her person, her ethnicity, and many are not to be repeated in the House of Commons.
We have all been around student politics and we know that apathy is the usual standard for university elections. Is it not just a little curious that this young woman should generate so much online hatred and venom?
The reality is that the Chinese Communist Party is here and it operates both openly and clandestinely, and its ultimate goal is to turn Canada into a vassal state. The sooner we do something about it, the better off we will all be.
I thank the movers of this motion for this timely debate and I look forward to any questions my colleagues may have.