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Trudeau Foundation to return $200K donation over possible connection to China

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OTTAWA -

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation says it is returning $200,000 it received seven years ago after a media report alleged a potential connection to Beijing.

The Globe and Mail, citing an unnamed national security source, published a report on an alleged plot by the Chinese government to influence Justin Trudeau after he became Liberal leader.

The report alleged a Chinese billionaire was instructed by Beijing to donate $1 million to the Trudeau Foundation in 2014, the year before the Liberals came to power under Trudeau.

The report says that he and a second wealthy Chinese businessman donated $1 million in honour of the elder Trudeau in 2016, including $200,000 to the foundation.

Pascale Fournier, the president and CEO of the Trudeau Foundation, which the prime minister has not been involved with since becoming leader, says the amount has been refunded.

Fournier's statement says "we cannot keep any donation that may have been sponsored by a foreign government and would not knowingly do so."

The Canadian Press could not immediately reach the individual at the centre of the report by the Globe and Mail, which said Tuesday he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2023.

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