According to a Canadian publicist who previously held a senior executive position at the Beijing institution, Canada has not obtained "a single thing of tangible value" from its $159.2 million USD investment in shares within the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.“It is dominated by senior Communist Party members,” said Bob Pickard of Toronto.“Heel-clicking obedience is the way I would describe it,” Pickard testified at the Commons Special committee on Canada-China Relations. On June 13, Pickard resigned from the Bank, which led the cabinet to suspend its dealings with the Bank.“Our membership in this organization was not giving this country a single thing of tangible value that we could proudly explain to people here in our country,” said Pickard, who worked as chief of global communications for 15 months. Chinese interest in Canada’s involvement was cynical self-interest, he said.“Respected G7 countries like Canada with a reputation were brandished like trophy members to help attract Western capital and avoid hostile policy consequences from US authorities in Washington,” said Pickard. “Inside the Bank, Chinese Communist Party members wield power in many of the most important positions from the top down.”“Forty percent of the staff are Chinese nationals, many of whom are Chinese Communist Party members,” said Pickard, who testified his assistant was a Party spy. “I found out this Communist Party member appointed as my assistant was secretly reporting directly to the most senior Party member.”“I had an in-house snitch reporting directly to Communist Party members what was going on, every journalist I met with, every civil society leader I met with,” said Pickard. “I am alleging undue Chinese Communist Party influence in the everyday operations of the Bank.”“What evidence would you point to?” asked Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos (London North Centre, ON). “I am an eyewitness,” replied Pickard.“People keep on asking me, where are the documents? Well, if I had taken those documents, I’d either be in a Chinese jail right now or I would be under serious litigation.”“Believe me, at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, there is never a dull moment,” said Pickard, citing internal discussions to bypass Russian sanctions, for example. “I was asked to meetings to discuss Russian procurement and there was a debate internally about whether or not there should be a meeting with Russian companies to discuss giving them opportunities to bid on Bank contracts. I was asked in no uncertain terms to keep that hush-hush and ensure word of it never got known externally.”According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Parliament in 2017 passed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Agreement Act that permitted the department of finance to buy up to US$375 million worth of Bank shares on a promise of “thousands upon thousands of Canadian jobs,” according to then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau. There are no documented figures about jobs created.Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on December 8 that her department had “undertaken a review of both the allegations raised and Canada’s involvement in the Bank.” No specific deadline was established and Canadian funds were not withdrawn.