Montreal University’s Story of Chinese Donation Differs From Alleged CSIS Version

The Université de Montréal likewise got a gift from a similar Chinese system subsidiary extremely rich people that has now brought down the authority of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Establishment, yet it recounted to a completely unique story in 2014 about how everything made sense.

Although information recently leaked to the media by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) claims that the Chinese regime was behind the donation in an effort to influence Canada’s potential prime minister Justin Trudeau, the university explained at the time that the gift was the result of a Chinese student’s wonderful experience on campus.

An account of how a young Chinese student who was studying in the Faculty of Law in 2013 was so enthusiastic about his experience that his parents contacted the Chinese billionaires is described in an article that was published in the publication UdeM Nouvelles of the university in November 2014.

According to the article, “His parents were the first to realize how much their son had acquired broad knowledge and was also open to the world.”

“His father knows a wealthy businessman who also knows another wealthy businessman.” They recently gave the Faculty of Law $1 million all together.

Zhang Bin and Niu Gensheng are the two Chinese billionaires. Zhang is president of the China Cultural Industry Association (CCIA), a state-backed organization, and a member of the Chinese regime’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Niu works for the CCIA as a consultant.

According to the UdeM Nouvelles article, the donation was made in part to “honor the memory and leadership of Pierre-Elliott Trudeau,” who established diplomatic ties with China in 1970 and was one of the first Western leaders to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Trudeau also holds a degree from the Université de Montréal (UdeM), where he taught in the law department.
According to the UdeM article, the majority of the funds would be used to provide scholarships to Quebec students who want to study in China. These students will be able to “get familiarized” with a “really different” Chinese culture where the “collective is much more important than the individual,” and they will also be able to “get familiarized” with the language.

A Globe and Mail article published on February 28 of this year provided a different account of how the donation came to be.

The Globe was told by a source with knowledge of national security that in 2014, CSIS had listened in on a conversation between Zhang Bin and a Chinese diplomat in Canada.

His affiliations with Chinese state organizations are listed on the university website, including his position as fellow at the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank run by the Chinese Communist Party. In 2021, the China University of Political Science awarded him an honorary doctorate in law.

In 2018, a group working to improve business ties between Canada and China also recognized his efforts to improve relations. The Canada China Business Council presented Lefebvre with the Gold-level Education Excellence Award on behalf of the UdeM Faculty of Law.

The Epoch Times requested comments by sending an email to Lefebvre’s UdeM account. Through Lefebvre’s current affiliation with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, additional unsuccessful attempts were made to get in touch with him.

Inside Emergency
There’s been no open aftermath for the college, however it’s an alternate story for the Trudeau Establishment, which the Globe on Feb. 28 detailed had gotten a $200,000 gift from Zhang and Niu simultaneously the college accepted their $800,000 gift.

The foundation announced its decision to return the funds the following day. President and Chief Pascale Fournier gave an assertion saying, “We can’t keep any gift that might have been supported by an unfamiliar government and wouldn’t purposely do as such,” and let the Globe know that the establishment as a matter of fact got only $140,000 of the $200,000 vowed in 2016.

However, as Montreal’s La Presse reported on April 12, the foundation’s leadership’s handling of the donation revelations led to an internal crisis, prompting the resignation of Fournier and the foundation’s entire board of directors a day earlier.

According to an internal document obtained by La Presse from the foundation, the donation could technically not be returned because “the name on the cheque for the famous ‘Chinese donation’ would not be the name of the real donor,” according to the article.

In the interim, the Globe provided details regarding April 12 that the contributor’s name that the establishment had on record was Thousand years Brilliant Bird Worldwide, a Chinese state-subsidiary organization run by Zhang Canister.

Edward Johnson, a founding member who served as Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s executive assistant, is one of three board members who have agreed to remain on an interim basis.

Johnson has also worked as a top executive for the multinational corporation Power Corporation, which, along with the Chinese state-owned investment firm CITIC, is one of the founding members of the Canada China Business Council.

On April 12, the foundation stated that it would not be conducting interviews in the coming days and that it would be launching an independent investigation into the Chinese donation. Additionally, it has requested an investigation from the Auditor General.

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