MP Han Dong Awaits Return to Liberal Caucus after False Allegations Cleared

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Han Dong, the incumbent Independent MP, revealed on Tuesday that he continues to anticipate news regarding his potential return to the Liberal caucus, hoping it would be accelerated.

Having stepped down from the government caucus in March, the Toronto-area MP sought to vindicate himself from allegations disclosed in media revelations. It was reported by Global News that Dong had suggested to a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 that the liberation of detained Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, would be advantageous for the Conservatives; though these claims have been labeled as untrue.

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David Johnston, previously assigned as the special rapporteur on foreign intrusion, surmised these allegations as unequivocally “false” in his May report, which prompted the initiation of an investigation by the Liberals into Dong’s potential return to the caucus.

In preparation for the fall session of Parliament, Dong met with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc approximately three weeks ago. “It was very positive and constructive” proclaimed Dong, enthusiastically awaiting further correspondence from LeBlanc.

While Dong remained tight-lipped regarding the specifics of their discussion, respecting confidentiality, he positively affirmed the interaction. Meanwhile, a representative for LeBlanc revealed the authorities will be releasing more information pertinent to this affair soon.

In light of the investigative report, Dong believed he found exoneration for the accusations levied against him. “The report by Mr. Johnston unequivocally states that the allegation is untrue,” expressed Dong.

To further protect his reputation, Dong is pressing legal charges against Global News and Corus Entertainment, its parent company, for the defamation lawsuit. The media organization had published claims earlier that Dong gained from Chinese foreign interference during his campaigning for the Liberal candidate designation in his district for the 2019 elections.

In their defense, Global News maintained they exercised meticulous care in verifying their reporting on Dong, encompassing months-long document reviews; also involving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the agency accountable for gathering and analysing intelligence for governmental use.

Amid sharing assurance about their journalistic integrity, the statement from Global News outlets issued in May read, “We believe in transparent, accountable reporting tackling issues critical to public interest.”

On an endnote, Dong consistently maintained contact with Chinese consular offices throughout the 2021 election but testified that he never advocated for the continued detention of Kovrig and Spavor. He initially emerged victorious as the Liberal MP for Don Valley North in 2019 and re-secured his position in the 2021 elections before resigning from the Liberal caucus on March 22.