British Columbia Premier David Eby says he had a meeting with the regional director of Canada's spy agency over allegations of foreign interference in the province's elections.

He says he was told he could not receive information because he's not a "direct client" of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which he says he found "frustrating."

But Eby says he was told the agency was "putting itself in a position" to alert Elections BC if it receives information about foreign meddling, and that an agreement had been struck to give the government advance notice.

Eby, who was speaking at an unrelated news conference in Victoria, says he requested a future meeting with the director of CSIS, David Vigneault, to try to get more information to help his government take action against foreign interference.

He also responded to an article published Sunday in The New York Times that was headlined, "Did China Help Vancouver’s Mayor Win Election?"

Eby says it's "outrageous" to suggest the election of Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim was unfair last October, and the insinuation that the victory was related to Sim's Chinese heritage made the matter "doubly disturbing."

"I can assure British Columbians that the Vancouver election was won fair and square by Ken Sim," Eby said Monday.

"There is just no question about it."

Eby, who campaigned for Sim's election rival Kennedy Stewart, said Sim shouldn't have to defend his "legitimate win" in the election.

@Dave_Eby says he met #CSIS regional boss over foreign election meddling in B.C. #BCPoli #ForeignInteference

The New York Times article cited reporting by The Globe and Mail newspaper that intelligence reports concluded China had tried to manipulate elections in Canada, including the mayoral race in Vancouver.

Eby made his comments shortly before the federal Liberal government announced it was expelling Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, whom CSIS alleged was involved in a plot to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly wrote in a statement that Canada had declared the Toronto-based diplomat as "persona non grata."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2023.

Keep reading