NDP to push for ‘national public inquiry’ into foreign interference – National

The opposition New Democrats will push for a “national public inquiry” into foreign interference in Canada’s elections, Global News has learned.

Conservative MPs are expected to support the NDP motion at the House Proceedings and House Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Ahead of the committee, Conservative Party leader Pierre Polivre said his party would support an “independent public” inquiry, but with some conditions.

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However, the Conservative Party could propose limiting the inquiry to Beijing’s allegations of foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections, rather than a broader inquiry into foreign influence and interference more generally. It is expected.

The move comes after weeks of reports that China is interfering in federal government politics.

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Foreign influence and interference can include a wide range of activities, but generally refers to clandestine attempts by countries to influence Canadian politics. Most recent reports have focused on Beijing’s alleged interference in recent elections, but China is far from the only country believed to be involved in foreign interference operations.

Global News has learned that the NDP’s move to investigate is broad and includes threats from other countries. A planned Conservative amendment would limit the proposed investigation to Beijing’s allegations of intervention and would limit it to those related to the 2019 and 2021 general elections.

NDP sources said the party was open to amendments to their motion.

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Trudeau defends Handong amid report CSIS warns of foreign influence concerns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are under pressure to initiate some form of independent assessment of foreign interference in Canada’s elections. It suggests that the Chinese government has warned that it is deploying a large network to influence Canadian elections.

Citing leaked documents, The Globe and Mail also said Beijing tried to influence the 2021 vote by targeting Conservative candidates in hopes of a Liberal minority government. reported.

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Trudeau sidestepped direct questions about conducting any form of investigation, instead referring to an ongoing investigation by a House of Commons committee into the issue of foreign influence. He told the delegation that he believed the National Security Committee (NSICOP), which has been recognized by Congress to be safe, could revisit the issue.

In March 2020, NSCOP reported that foreign interference is a “significant and growing threat” to Canada’s internal affairs. However, the committee’s review focused on foreign interference from 2015 to 2018, not his two most recent federal elections or foreign interference during the COVID-19 pandemic.

— in MacKenzie Gray’s file.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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