Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday denied a media report from last week saying his office had been warned by Canada’s spy agency to drop a Liberal candidate, who is now a member of parliament, because he had Beijing’s support. The Chinese government preferred Han Dong, a Chinese-Canadian, over another Chinese-Canadian Liberal, who was passed over in favour of Han, said Global News, a national broadcaster, citing anonymous security sources in a story posted online. The article said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) urged Trudeau’s “team” to rescind Han’s candidacy. Instead he went on to win a seat in the House of Commons in a Toronto riding in 2019 and was re-elected in 2021. “Dong is an outstanding member of our team and suggestions that he is somehow not loyal to Canada should not be entertained,” Trudeau told a news conference in Mississauga. Please see my statement below. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/5RADk5hDF7 — Han Dong (@handongontario) February 27, 2023 “Suggestions we’ve seen in the media, that CSIS would somehow say, ‘No, this person can’t run or that person can’t run,’ is not just false, it’s actually damaging to people’s confidence in our democratic and political institutions.” The Global report follows a Globe and Mail story published earlier this month, also citing anonymous security sources, saying that Chinese diplomats and their proxies worked to defeat Conservative politicians considered more hostile to Beijing in the 2021 election. Trudeau has said China has attempted to meddle in Canada’s elections, but he insists that two reports by an intelligence task force set up to study foreign influence in elections have said the outcome of both the 2019 and 2021 elections were not altered. “That doesn’t mean that we are not faced on an ongoing basis by attempts at interference in our democracies, both during and before and after” an election, Trudeau said. Canada says it thwarted China’s recent air and maritime surveillance attempts Han did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he was quoted in the Global News story saying: “I am unaware of the claims provided to you by alleged sources, which contains seriously inaccurate information.” The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the Global report. Han was raised and educated in Toronto after his parents immigrated to Canada from Shanghai in the early 1990s, and worked in his parent’s 24-hour coffee shop while growing up, the Liberal Party website says.