Montreal university says no indication donation by Chinese billionaire was suspect


By Staff The Canadian Press Posted March 2, 2023 1:54 pm 2:38 Canadian national security agencies have dealt with foreign interference ‘for a very, very long time’ WATCH: Responding to a question from Global National’s Julie Nolan about when he first learned of the CSIS allegations concerning Han Dong’s alleged connection with China’s election interference network, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada’s national security agencies have been dealing with issues of foreign interference “for a very, very long time.” Trudeau also highlighted that the greatest targets of foreign interference are diaspora communities themselves. The Montreal university that was promised an $800,000 donation as part of an alleged plot by the Chinese government to influence Justin Trudeau says the pledge came at a different time in Canada-China relations. Université de Montreal spokesman Jeff Heinrich says that when the donation was announced in 2016, scientific and economic relations between the two countries were more open and there was no suggestion of possible links to political interference.The Globe and Mail, citing an unnamed national security source, published a report alleging that Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin was instructed in 2014 to donate $1 million in honour of Pierre Elliott Trudeau as part of a plan to influence his son. Trending Now The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation said Wednesday it will return the $200,000 donation received from the billionaire and another Chinese businessman, Niu Gensheng. Story continues below advertisement Pascale Fournier, foundation president and CEO, confirmed the prime minister has not been involved with the organization since becoming leader.Heinrich says the university received $550,000 to create a scholarship named on behalf of the two Chinese businessmen, adding that a final payment of $250,000 was never received.He did not immediately return a request for comment today on whether the university would also return the money.— With a file from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier &copy 2023 The Canadian Press Sponsored content Flyers

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