‘Political games’ over foreign interference further erode Canadians’ trust: Trudeau – National

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said parliamentarians with a political twist on foreign election interference are helping China undermine confidence in Canadians’ democracy.

His comments led Liberal MP Jennifer O’Connell to accuse the Conservatives of “a Trump-style tactic to question upcoming election results” in a parliamentary committee investigating foreign election interference. Another liberal prime minister said in November that he was “disappointed” after being questioned by Conservatives about China’s attempts to interfere.

Trudeau said Wednesday that playing “political games” for partisan advantage undermines public confidence in their institutions and thwarts efforts by countries like Russia and China to destabilize democracies. He said it would only help.

He told reporters that Canadians must have faith in the electoral process, regardless of which party is in power, and political parties must cooperate on the issue.

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Prime Minister Trudeau is pleased that a House of Representatives committee agreed on Tuesday to investigate possible foreign interference in the 2021 elections and ask cabinet ministers and national security agencies to testify about it. said.

A nonpartisan commission of the highest civil servants, tasked under a federal protocol to warn Canadians of foreign interference if their ability to hold free and fair elections is threatened, will be released in 2019 or 2021. did not do so.

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According to documents obtained by the Canadian Press in its request for access to information, “substantial judgment” is required to determine whether an event or series of events meets the “threshold” for such announcement. be.

Trudeau’s comments follow months of exclusive coverage by Global News about China’s attempted interference, beginning with a report on November 7, 2022, in which Canadian intelligence officials said China It warned Trudeau that it was allegedly targeting Canada in a widespread campaign of interference. Through the funding of a secret network of at least 11 federal candidates running in the 2019 election, according to Global News sources.

On December 21, 2022, Global News reported that an unredacted 2020 national security document alleged that Beijing used an extensive network of community groups to link Chinese officials with Canadian members of an election interference network. reportedly claiming to have concealed the flow of funds from Advance your own political agenda in the 2019 Commonwealth Contest.

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And on February 8, 2023, Global News reported that national security officials drafted a warning to Trudeau and his office more than a year before the 2019 federal elections, stating that Chinese operatives were “canadian candidates”. We are helping people run for public office.” Privy Council documents reviewed by Global News.

Prime Minister Trudeau said China was trying to interfere in Canadian democracy “including our elections”, but it is clear that Canadians decided the outcome of the last two federal elections. said.

— Using files from Global News reporters Saba Aziz and Sean Boynton

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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