Canada has ordered a Chinese diplomat in Toronto to leave the country immediately after being implicated in a scheme to intimidate a Conservative MP and his family in Hong Kong.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement on Monday that Zhao Wei, who worked at the Chinese consulate in Toronto, has been officially declared “persona non grata.”
The announcement of Zhao’s expulsion coincided with MPs voting in favour of a Conservative motion that urged the government to expel certain diplomats and launch a public inquiry into the allegations of foreign interference.
Additionally, Joly also warned that other diplomats could face similar consequences if found to be involved in foreign interference.
“I have been clear: we will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs. Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behaviour, they will be sent home,” wrote Joly.
“This decision has been taken after careful consideration of all factors at play. We remain firm in our resolve that defending our democracy is of the utmost importance.”
Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that CSIS had evidence that China was planning to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his family. The federal government has since verified that report.
Chong was threatened following his motion to label China’s forced encampment of the Uyghur minority a genocide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has since denied claims that he was aware of China’s attempts to intimidate Chong and his family.