Trudeau cash-for-access scandal

The Trudeau cash-for-access scandal is a political scandal arising from newspaper reports in 2016 that Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau had been attending cash-for-access events at the homes of wealthy Chinese-Canadians in Toronto and Vancouver, generating a political scandal.[1][2][3][4] Attendees at these events, including attendees with connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), would pay up to $1,525 per ticket to meet Trudeau. In response, the Liberal Party of Canada indicated that all party fundraising complied with Elections Canada rules and regulations.[5]

Although such cash-for-access events were reported as appearing to violate Trudeau's "Open and Accountable Government" rules about lobbying and fundraising,[6] Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson interviewed Trudeau and determined that no rules were broken, without releasing a report.[7][2] Dawson's office defended the lack of a report by stating that Dawson had not opened a formal investigation, which would have legally required the commissioner to issue a public report under the Conflict of Interest Act.[7][8][9]

Known cash-for-access events edit

Before or around 2016, Trudeau attended several fundraisers at the Toronto home of an insurance mogul.[10] One of the fundraisers occurred on 14 April 2016. The insurance mogul is reported to associate with China's consul general to Toronto.[10]

On 19 May 2016, Trudeau attended a fundraiser at the Toronto home of a chair of the Chinese Business Chamber of Commerce, along with 32 other guests.[11] This event was attended by Chinese billionaire and CCP official Zhang Bin, who subsequently made a $200,000 donation to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and a $50,000 donation to erect a statue of Pierre Trudeau in Montreal, after his initial request of a statue of Pierre Trudeau with Mao Zedong was declined.[12][1] In addition to Bin, two other event attendees have reported known close ties to Chinese state organizations.[6] The mogul's canola oil export business interests might have been harmed by China's planned restrictions on the import of Canadian canola seed. In September of the same year, Trudeau persuaded China's leaders to lift the restrictions.[8]

On 7 November 2016, Trudeau attended a "cash-for-access" fundraiser with over 80 guests at the West Vancouver mansion of a British Columbia real estate developer, who was also part of a 2012 campaign by the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations to rally overseas support for Chinese territorial expansion in the East China Sea. At the event, the developer reportedly urged Trudeau to allow a Chinese investment in Canadian seniors’ care that was under review by the federal government.[13][7][8] Later that same month, Chinese insurance firm Anbang Insurance Group completed its purchase of a majority stake in Vancouver-based seniors’ care company Retirement Concepts for over $1 billion.[13][7] Retirement Concepts was the largest provider of assisted living and residential care services in British Columbia at the time, receiving $86.5-million from the province in the 2016 fiscal year.[13] Neither the Prime Minister's Office nor the Liberal Party website noted the event. Photos of the event appeared in Chinese news media.[1]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (2 December 2016). "Influential Chinese-Canadians paying to attend private fundraisers with Trudeau". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b Kassam, Ashifa (15 December 2016). "Trudeau to be questioned by ethics watchdog over reports of cash for access". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Trudeau government faces 'cash-for-access' criticism". BBC News. 23 November 2016. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  4. ^ Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (13 December 2016). "Justin Trudeau says he uses cash-for-access fundraisers to champion the middle class". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  5. ^ Zimonjic, Peter (Nov 22, 2016). "Trudeau defends fundraiser with Chinese businessman who later donated $200,000 to father's foundation". www.cbc.ca. CBC News. Archived from the original on 2016-11-23. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (22 November 2016). "Trudeau defends fundraiser as effort to attract Chinese investment". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "PM no longer under investigation for cash-for-access fundraisers, but ethics commissioner won't say why". National Post. Archived from the original on 9 February 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (15 December 2016). "Ethics Commissioner to question Trudeau on cash-for-access fundraisers". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  9. ^ Wherry, Aaron (Apr 27, 2017). "Ethics commissioner cleared Trudeau's fundraising in February". www.cbc.ca. CBC News. Archived from the original on 2017-04-28. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  10. ^ a b Blackwell, Tom. "Daughter of high-profile Toronto businesswoman and political fundraiser charged with murder | SaltWire". www.saltwire.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  11. ^ Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (22 November 2016). "Trudeau attended cash-for-access fundraiser with Chinese billionaires". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  12. ^ V, Nathan (28 February 2023). "Chinese donors who funded Trudeau Foundation wanted statue of Mao in Montreal". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 1 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  13. ^ a b c Fife, Robert; Chase, Steven (2 December 2016). "Trudeau discussed Chinese investments at fundraiser, host says". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.