Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, has raised concerns about foreign influence over Canadian politicians. ((Chris Wattie/Reuters))

Members of Vancouver's Chinese community are angry about controversial comments made by the head of Canada's spy agency, but a former Asia expert for CSIS says the comments are true.

Earlier this week, CSIS director Richard Fadden told CBC News some municipal officials and cabinet ministers from two unnamed provinces, are being influenced by foreign governments.

Fadden then hinted China was one of the countries wielding influence. He also said some municipal officials in B.C. are among those being influenced by foreign governments.

Former Vancouver city councillor Tung Chan says he's saddened and frustrated by Fadden's comments. Chan is the head of SUCCESS, an immigrant services organization with strong links to Vancouver's Chinese community.

"The remarks that were made cast shadows and cast doubts on the loyalty of a whole group of people, particularly those committed to serve the public, and it's not helpful to what we're trying to do in creating multicultural harmony," said Chan.

Espionage expert backs claim

Fadden made the comments during an interview with the CBC on Tuesday. He later downplayed the remarks, saying CSIS has been investigating and reporting on such threats for many years.

That position is backed up by Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former head of Asia Pacific Affairs for CSIS in the 1990s, who is now the president of the Northgate Group, a private firm specializing in corporate security intelligence.

Juneau-Katsuya says China has been doing much more than lobbying politicians in B.C. for years in order to influence government decisions.

"There is direct evidence that there is much more than just lobbying. There is evidence that CSIS has collected that B.C. officials had been compromised, sometimes with their knowledge, occasionally without their knowledge," he said.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell called Fadden's statements irresponsible and said all Canadians deserve a complete explanation.