POLITICS

Ontario cabinet minister threatens legal action over Globe report of CSIS warning

06/22/2015 05:41 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - An Ontario cabinet minister is threatening to take legal action against a Toronto newspaper unless it retracts and apologizes for articles he says contain false allegations against him.

Michael Chan calls the stories published last week in the Globe and Mail a "deeply offensive personal attack" and says they have caused significant damage to his reputation.

The newspaper reported that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warned the Ontario government in 2010 that Chan may have been susceptible to Chinese influence and had "unusually close ties to Chinese officials."

Chan maintains the articles repeat five-year-old, unfounded suggestions and notes that the paper itself at the time in 2010 called the allegations "reckless, foolish and contradictory."

The Globe's editor-in-chief says the paper stands by the stories and plans to publish further material on the matter.

David Walmsley says that the articles contained previously undisclosed information.

"To suggest The Globe's articles reveal nothing new is false," he said in a statement.

"This work revealed significant new pieces of information, including the fact CSIS visited the Ontario government and expressed concerns about Mr. Chan — something that had never been previously disclosed. We stand by the stories and intend to publish further material."

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said Chan — the province's minister of citizenship, immigration and international trade — has served with honour in the Ontario government. She has said there have been no specific allegations and the concerns are ``baseless.''