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Conservative MP Michael Chong prepares to appear as a witness at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding foreign election interference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on May 16.Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong says Beijing’s intimidation actions against him and his family in Hong Kong are not the first time that he felt threatened by the Chinese government.

In testimony before the Commons committee on procedure and House affairs Tuesday evening, Mr. Chong said he approached the Canadian Security Intelligence Service on three occasions to outline threats that were made against him.

Mr. Chong said he did not want to get into the specifics but believes agents of the People’s Republic of China were behind the intimidation.

“I received threats that I believe may be related to the PRC and I will just leave it at that,” he said. “It was more than one threat. One of the incidents involved something that happened in the last federal election campaign. The other incidents were outside the federal election campaigns and involve threats sent to me regarding the PRC and my travel outside the country.”

Those meetings with CSIS took place on Aug. 5, 2021, Feb. 25, 2022, and July 18, 2022.

However, Mr. Chong said the information he brought to CSIS had nothing to do with the activities of Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, who was expelled from Canada last week after The Globe reported he had sought in 2021 to intimidate the MP and his family in Hong Kong over his stand on China’s human-rights record.

In the three times he approached CSIS, Mr. Chong said the agency never told him what Mr. Zhao was up to. In fact, Mr. Chong said CSIS provided him with a briefing on foreign interference in June 24, 2021, but never mentioned Mr. Zhao.

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Mr. Chong said he only became aware of Mr. Zhao’s efforts to intimidate him and family members in Hong Kong after it was published in The Globe and Mail on May 1, citing a top-secret CSIS memo dated July 20, 2021, and a national-security source.

“We should not be finding these things out from The Globe and Mail,” Mr. Chong said.

The Liberal government has been under intense pressure to take tougher measures to counter China’s interference in Canada’s democracy, including attempts to meddle in the last two federal elections.

Just before Mr. Chong’s appearance, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced he has now formally instructed CSIS to investigate and disclose any foreign threats against parliamentarians, their families, staff members or Parliament itself.

“Furthermore, CSIS will inform the minister of any engagements with parliamentarians related to foreign interference, to better address and mitigate these threats,” Mr. Mendicino said in a statement.

Mr. Mendicino has also vowed to bring in a foreign-agent registry for people who act on behalf of a foreign state to advance its goals. The United States and Australia have similar registries.

CSIS has been drawing up a list of parliamentarians for briefings on Chinese political interference and has already reached out to two opposition MPs, more than a week after Mr. Chong was informed that he and his family were targets of intimidation.

The spy service has contacted former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who was a candidate for prime minister in the 2021 election, and Jenny Kwan, an NDP MP who has been an outspoken critic of China.

In his testimony, Mr. Chong endorsed the idea of CSIS informing MPs of any threats as well as the House of Commons Speaker. He said the names of anyone trying to intimidate an MP or senator should be revealed publicly, even if it is a diplomat.

“This would send a clear message to any person in Canada who would be engaging in these activities that Parliament will take action to defend its members,” he said.

Mr. Chong said he also wants the committee to find out why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was never informed of Mr. Zhao’s threats against him. He said Jody Thomas, the Prime Minister’s national-security adviser, told him the 2021 CSIS report was sent to the Privy Council Office and to relevant government departments.

CSIS director David Vigneault also confirmed to Mr. Chong that he and his family were targeted by Beijing after he sponsored a parliamentary motion condemning China’s actions in its northwestern Xinjiang region as genocide.

But Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mendicino and three of the Prime Minister’s former national-security advisers say they never saw that report and only learned about it from the May 1 Globe report.

The government also announced Tuesday that the Security and Intelligence Threats Task Force will be closely monitoring coming by-elections in four ridings for signs of foreign interference.

Votes are being held June 19 in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, Oxford, Portage—Lisgar and Winnipeg South Centre.

With report from The Canadian Press

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