Han Dong sits as an independent MP
Han Dong has announced he will sit as an independent MP after being the subject of foreign interference allegations.
“I will continue to serve the residents of Don Valley North as an independent member of this House. I am taking these extraordinary steps because sitting in the government caucus is a privilege. and my presence there might be seen by some as a conflict of duty,” Dong told the House of Commons on Wednesday night.
“I will sit as an independent to ensure that the work of government, and indeed the work of parliament, is not interrupted as I work to vindicate myself.”
Citing unnamed “national security sources,” Global News reported on Wednesday that Dong suggested to a senior Chinese diplomat in February 2021 that China delay the release of Michael Kovrig. and Michael Spavor – two Canadians who were imprisoned in China from 2018 to 2021 – to avoid benefiting the Conservative Party.
Dong acknowledged in the Global News report that he spoke with Chinese officials to discuss the two Michaels, but denied allegations that he pushed for their delayed release. In the House of Commons, he told MPs he was “doing nothing to harm” the two Michaels and “working hard and supporting their interests.”
Last month, Global News also reported that Dong was preferred by Beijing to another Liberal Chinese-Canadian, and that he was a “smart branch” of Chinese interference networks.
CTV News has not independently verified any of these allegations.
“Today’s media reports citing anonymous and unverified sources (have) attacked my reputation and questioned my loyalty to Canada. Let me be clear, what is reported is untrue. And I will defend myself against these completely untrue statements,” he said. said in the House.
Dong was first elected in 2018 and had previously served as a provincial parliamentarian.
Dong is not the only politician embroiled in accusations of foreign interference. Ontario MPP Vincent Ke, who represents Dong’s side, resigned from the Radical Conservative Party caucus earlier this month after he was accused in a Global News report of being involved in the China’s network of interference – accusations that Ke denies.