Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ended his campaign with a raspy voice, amid an overflow crowd at the Pipe Shop at the Shipyards in North Vancouver on Oct. 18. Introduced by restaurateur Vikram Vij, Trudeau relied on his speaking notes, even for recounting childhood memories in North Vancouver. He passionately urged his supporters to get out the vote on election day, to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
As I was leaving, I spotted ex-Richmond Liberal MP Raymond Chan outside the building. Chan has been the subject of many stories in recent months locally, nationally and internationally about his Liberal Party fundraising activities and his links to Michael Mo Yeung Ching, a Richmond, B.C. developer wanted by the Chinese government. My story for the Vancouver Courier was first to confirm that Ching is also known as Cheng Muyang.
South China Morning Post correspondent Ian James Young’s Oct. 1 story, under the headline “Group based in Chinese graft suspect Michael Ching’s office helped stage big Toronto gala for PM contender Trudeau” included photographs of Trudeau, Ching and Chan at a fundraiser in Toronto. Young’s Sept. 30 story included a photograph of Trudeau, flanked by Ching to his left and Chan to his right, at a June 2, 2013 Liberal fundraiser.
The Conservatives complained to Elections Canada at the start of October. NDP director of operations Dave Hare’s Aug. 21 letter to Elections Canada said: “The allegations that have been raised in connection to this ongoing controversy are potential violations of the Elections Canada Act and of serious concern.”
I reminded Chan that I had been trying to get his side of the story since April, but all he told me today was: “What I don’t like is people feeding on rumours, and then we don’t respond to rumours. It’s so unfair.”
I began to ask about his Liberal fundraising activities. Chan turned around to walk away. I turned on my video app and tried following him on the public walkway, to the parking lot, while loudly asking more questions. Several people, who later claimed to be Liberal volunteers, physically blocked both my lens and my passage, and shoved and pushed me. Do you recognize who these three people are? Mobile users, click here to see the video.
UPDATE: Trudeau and the Liberals won the election and will form the next government. The man with the round face celebrated with Chan onstage at the Liberal victory party in Vancouver.
What role will Chan, and his supporters, have with the Trudeau Liberal government that will be sworn-in on Nov. 4?