OnePacificNews, March 14, 2019, Thursday

By Ng Weng Hoong in Vancouver, B.C.

The Vancouver Sun’s veteran columnist on diversity and immigration, Douglas Todd, is among British Columbia’s best-known journalists.

On March 8, he wrote (1) about China’s long reach into Canada, exercised through the rising population of Chinese students and journalists in this country.

There’s some truth to that, especially with regard to China’s worrying attempts to control some among the Chinese diaspora here and elsewhere. But in his eagerness to freshen his China threat narrative, Mr Todd cited me. Of all people.

With Chinese threat stories all the rage today, it is fitting to have a face and name of a potential closet influencer undermining Canada from within the media community.

In the later half of his commentary of mostly rehashed observations, Mr Todd describes me as “a vociferous critic of B.C.’s foreign house buyer tax and other manifestations of Canadian sovereignty.” It’s the only original piece of information in his 1,063-word comment.

But he’s wrong on both counts, sadly for his newspaper, readers — and Douglas Todd. I am not opposed to the foreign buyer tax nor am I against Canadian sovereignty. Rather, I oppose the manner (2) in which the tax was conceived and implemented.  My reasons are laid out in a Georgia Straight article on June 10, 2018 as a criticism of Mr Todd’s earlier erroneous argument (3) for the tax.

I had made clear that “the B.C. government is well within its right to impose without warning a tax on foreigners buying real estate—and just about anything—within the province”, and that “no reasonable person begrudges the state’s right to tax.” Mr Todd completely misses these points in his rush to misrepresent me.

He also provided no proof that I am a critic of “manifestations of Canadian sovereignty”. He conjectured this conclusion out of his imagination. On the contrary, my most recent piece in SupChina (4), which Mr Todd mentioned in his commentary, defended Canadian sovereignty. Pertinently, he did not include the link to my SupChina piece in his commentary otherwise readers would see that it contradicts what he said.

So, do I have the makings of an embedded fifth columnist? I’m an immigrant of ethnic Chinese descent, so that’s a start. I’ve also been increasingly vocal in my criticism against some politicians, academics and the media for their targeting of the Chinese community in Metro Vancouver’s recent problems involving housing affordability, the opioid crisis and money laundering. Now, that would make me an enemy of the people, right?

Mr Todd’s reputation is on the line as his fake description of me as a critic of the tax and Canadian sovereignty has now been entered as “facts”. The Vancouver Sun and the Post Media Group have declined to correct his mistakes. I have discovered that his errors have been republished in The Province (5), The National Post (6), The Sarnia Observer (7), and a reader’s blog (8). They will be perpetuated.

The false description of me is now available to be retrieved and referenced by Mr Todd himself and others for potential use in future China and Chinese threat stories.

I wrote this piece as a record of my protest against the publication of false information by Douglas Todd, the Vancouver Sun and the Post Media Group. I have also tweeted my protest:

I had requested that they remove his misrepresentation of my position by March 11, 2019, 12.01 pm PST, but they have not done so. Mr Todd has so much power that his publisher and editors dare not correct his mistakes.

Updated: April 23 2019