Canola Businessman Paid to Meet Trudeau Ahead of Industry Deal With Beijing

A Toronto businessman hoping to sell $1 billion worth of canola oil to China attended a fundraising dinner with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just four months before the Canadian government struck a deal to lift Chinese trade barriers on canola seed exports.

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Thomas Liu, CEO of the LeMine Investment Group, attended the $1,525-per-person dinner at the home of Toronto businessman Benson Wong on May 19. About 35 people attended the fundraiser, which was first revealed by The Tyee.
On Sept. 22, the Canadian government announced an agreement to lift Chinese restrictions on canola seed exports that had threatened access to the $2.6-billion market.
New Democrat ethics critic Alexandre Boulerice said Trudeau’s attendance at the event raises serious concerns about the so-called “cash for access” fundraisers with the prime minister, cabinet ministers and senior officials.

Liu has a background in immigration and condo development in …