A member of Ontario’s legislature has left the Progressive Conservative caucus after allegations that he was part of a Beijing-led effort to interfere with the 2019 federal election, which he denies.
Vincent Ke, an MPP who has represented Don Valley North since 2018, will sit as an Independent.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Friday, Mr. Ke denied the allegations. “While the Global News allegations about me are false and defamatory, I do not want to be a distraction to the government and take away from the good work Premier Ford is doing for the province of Ontario,” he said.
“Therefore, I will be stepping away from the PC caucus in order to dedicate my time to clearing my name and representing my constituents.”
His resignation follows a Global News report on Friday that alleged Mr. Ke was involved in an election interference network directed by China’s Toronto consulate. The Global report cited unnamed sources.
“While the allegations against Mr. Ke are not proven, they are serious and deserve his full and undivided attention as he works to clear his name,” Premier Doug Ford’s office said in a statement.
March 11, 2023
“As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, Mr. Ke offered to step away from the Ontario PC caucus to sit as an independent. The Premier agreed and has accepted his resignation effective immediately.”
The federal government has faced an onslaught of criticism over its handling of Chinese interference since The Globe and Mail reported last month on Canadian Security Intelligence Service documents that revealed China employed a sophisticated strategy to disrupt Canada’s democracy in the 2021 election campaign.
Highly classified documents, seen by The Globe and Global News, also outlined how China tried to elect 11 candidates – nine Liberals and two Conservatives – in the 2019 election.
Justin Trudeau has ordered two closed-door probes into Chinese election interference that will be reviewed by a special rapporteur after the Prime Minister faced growing calls to investigate Beijing’s influence activities.