Jaffer, Radarsat, and China

A private investigator has filed a court document claiming that disgraced former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, the husband of former cabinet minister Helena Guergis, sought Canadian satellite information with military implications after liaising with Chinese state-owned technology companies in 2010.

The document, filed by Derrick Snowdy on July 17th, hints at shady activities by the former MP (Stephen Maher, “Former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer sought military secrets: court filings,” Postmedia News, 17 July 2012):

Snowdy’s statement of defence casts light on Jaffer’s February 2010 trip to China, which Jaffer made with Hai Shiene Chen, a Chinese Canadian businessman.

Chen “had many connections and ties to state-owned technology companies in the Peoples Republic of China and that had been anxious to befriend Jaffer and Guergis according to email exchanges,” Snowdy writes.

During the trip, Snowdy writes, Jaffer “was hosted and socialized by Chen’s associates representing state-owned technology companies.”

On his return, Jaffer wrote to David Pierce, then the director of parliamentary affairs to then industry minister Tony Clement, with detailed questions about the Canadian government’s “long-term space policy” regarding Radarsat, a high-technology earth-observation satellite being developed by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates with more than $500 million in federal funding.

On March 16th, 2010, Jaffer, using an email address belonging to Guergis’s MP account, wrote that he had “a few questions on behalf of some constituents who are friends of Helena and I.”

He then asks, in the email, about the government’s plans for the satellite program, including its sensitive “automatic identification system,” a military system used to identify vessels in Canadian waters.

“I know these are very technical questions and I have pretty much copied and pasted their request directly to you,” Jaffer wrote in the email to Pierce.

In June, 2010, CSIS director Richard Fadden warned that China was attempting to influence Canadian politicians, and former CSIS agents have publicly warned that the communist government’s agents are engaged in an ongoing, multifaceted intelligence operations in Canada, driven by interest in Canadian technology and resources.

[Former agent David Harris] said that CSIS, Canadian military intelligence and allied intelligence agencies were likely interested in Jaffer’s inquiry about Radarsat-2.

“This would be a matter of extreme interest, it would seem to me, to any self-respecting security service,” he said.

No stranger to scandal and drama herself, Jaffer’s wife, expelled Conservative caucus member Helena Guergis, is suing Snowdy for defamation.

Photo credit: Canadian Space Agency

Tags: Canadian Security Intelligence Service, China, CSIS, Helena Guergis, military technology, Radarsat, Rahim Jaffer