Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim denounced what he said were “insinuations” made in a news article alleging Canada’s spy agency found evidence of China’s Vancouver consulate interfering in last year’s municipal election.
“I’ll just say it: if I was a Caucasian male, we’re not having this conversation,” said Sim, Vancouver’s first mayor of Chinese descent.
“If there’s proof of foreign interference in our election, I want to know about it because I’m a Canadian … but right now there are a bunch of insinuations.”
Sim was reacting to a Globe and Mail report, based on information they say comes from a January 2022 Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) report, which details how China’s then-consul general talked about electing a specific Chinese Canadian candidate.
The CSIS report does not explicitly name who the candidate was, but the article talks in detail about Sim, who was elected mayor in November 2022, along with Lenny Zhou, who was also elected to council as part of Sim’s ABC Vancouver Party.
Sim said he supported “anything we can do to make our [electoral] institutions stronger” and said he had no relationship with the new consul general, but declined to comment on how serious he felt the threat of interference was.
“I don’t know. I’m not part of CSIS. I’m not part of the security infrastructure. I’m just the mayor of Vancouver,” he said.
The report came a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced former governor general David Johnston would investigate claims that China meddled in Canada’s last two elections.
More to come.