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Former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, pictured in 2021, is reportedly one of two opposition MPs that CSIS has contacted to discuss the threat of foreign interference.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Canada’s spy agency is 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 Conservative MP Michael Chong was informed that he and family members in Hong Kong were targets of Beijing state intimidation.

The Canadian Security Intelligence 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.

CSIS said it wants to discuss the threat of foreign interference with Mr. O’Toole, a person familiar with the request said. The Globe is not identifying the person because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the CSIS request.

“We are inferring that it is about threats to him and his family,” the person said.

The outreach comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed the spy service to disclose concerns about federal politicians and their families following a report in The Globe that revealed China targeted Mr. Chong because he sponsored a parliamentary motion condemning Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minority.

Ms. Kwan, who has COVID-19, said she had a brief Zoom conversation with CSIS officials, but they were unwilling to disclose any intelligence because communications were not secure. She will be meeting in person with the service in Ottawa when she recovers.

An outspoken critic of China’s human-rights abuses, Ms. Kwan said she is anxious to know if Beijing has targeted her in some way. “Luckily for me, I don’t have family members in Hong Kong or in China, but I believe I am definitely a person of interest given my activities and outspokenness,” she said.

“I hope in the in-person meeting that they will disclose what they have learned, when they learned it and what it means in practical terms.”

Ms. Kwan said that while she is concerned about threats to parliamentarians, she is equally worried about China’s intimidation of Canadian critics of the Communist Party’s authoritarian rule. “If members of Parliament are being watched, what happens for everyday Canadians? Are they being watched and observed and, if so, what recourse do they have?” she said.

“If people fear the activities that they participate in – whether it be a rally or speaking out on an issue – it could have repercussions for them or their family members who might be abroad. That is very concerning. And what is the Canadian government doing to address that?”

Mr. O’Toole, who as Conservative leader campaigned for a foreign-agent registry and the banning of Huawei Technologies gear from domestic 5G networks, has said he believes the party lost up to nine seats because of Chinese interference in the 2021 election.

A report for the federal government by a panel of senior public servants, led by Morris Rosenberg, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, found that efforts to meddle in that election did not affect the overall outcome of the vote.

But Mr. O’Toole had personal reasons for concern. For much of his time as opposition leader, his sister lived in Hong Kong with her husband, who worked as a senior test pilot with Cathay Pacific. The couple were in Hong Kong for roughly a decade, through a period of immense change for the city, which has been convulsed by protests and lost many of its freedoms to Beijing in recent years.

Some of those changes struck close to home for the family. Cathay Pacific’s chief executive resigned in 2019, after some of the airline’s employees joined protests demanding greater political freedoms. The airline came under heavy pressure from Chinese authorities and fired some employees, including pilots, for criticizing local police and taking part in demonstrations.

The departure of the airline’s CEO meant “anyone is vulnerable if the Party wants it,” Mr. O’Toole told The Globe and Mail in a 2020 interview, referring to the Chinese Communist Party. He largely stopped speaking publicly about his sister and her family and declined an interview about the CSIS request this week.

Mr. O’Toole’s family returned to Canada from Hong Kong in 2021, the year the Conservatives lost to the Liberals.

The CSIS request to Mr. O’Toole points to the extent of Chinese attempts to wield influence in Canada, said Kenny Chiu, a former Conservative MP who has said he was the target of a disinformation campaign in the last election, which he lost.

“If Beijing even dared to threaten somebody who has the potential of forming a government, to be the prime minister of the country – just imagine what they can do to ordinary Canadian citizens,” Mr. Chiu said.

CSIS did not immediately respond to a request from The Globe to say how many other MPs are receiving intelligence briefings. But a senior government official said CSIS is still drawing up a list of all parliamentarians who would require such briefings.

The official said CSIS is trying to determine the threshold for providing parliamentarians a briefing: Would a mention in passing during its intelligence collection necessitate one or would it be only reserved for cases where a foreign power was paying special attention to an MP or senator?

The official cautioned no threshold has been set and it may be that CSIS decides to brief everyone. The Globe is not naming the official because they are not authorized to discuss national-security matters.

On May 1, The Globe reported that Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei was part of an effort to target Mr. Chong and his family in Hong Kong in 2021. After the report, CSIS director David Vigneault confirmed to Mr. Chong in a briefing that he had been a target of Chinese intimidation. Neither CSIS nor the government has explained why Mr. Chong was not informed of the threat in 2021.

A week after The Globe report, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly expelled Mr. Zhao, who left Canada on Friday.

Beijing retaliated by expelling Canadian diplomat Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai. China’s embassy in Ottawa has accused Canada of breaching international law by expelling Mr. Zhao, saying the move was based on anti-Chinese sentiment.

The Globe reported Friday that CSIS has a significant counterintelligence file on Mr. Zhao, and, since 2020, has shared that information with Global Affairs Canada, the department with the authority to expel foreign representatives for engaging in non-diplomatic activities.

Mr. Zhao became a target of CSIS surveillance in 2019, according to one national-security source. The Globe is not naming the source because they risk prosecution under the Security of Information Act.

The source said Mr. Zhao was responsible for keeping track of known opponents of the Chinese Communist Party in the Greater Toronto Area, including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghur human-rights activists, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and supporters of Tibetan and Taiwanese independence.

Mr. Zhao and his proxies took pictures of dissidents, monitored events held by them, documented their identities and sent the information back to China’s secret police, the Ministry of State Security, the source said. The source previously described Mr. Zhao to The Globe as “a suspected intelligence actor.”

The source said Mr. Zhao had also been observed meeting in Toronto with a number of constituency staffers for Toronto-area Liberal MPs, including an assistant for International Trade Minister Mary Ng. Mr. Zhao asked some of those aides to keep their MPs away from pro-Taiwan events, according to the source.

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