Should a probe on foreign election interference in Canada expand? Committee to decide – National

Canadian lawmakers are seeking to expand an ongoing investigation into allegations of attempted foreign interference in Canadian politics.

meeting, meeting On Tuesday afternoon, a committee of the Standing Committee on Procedural and House Affairs will discuss expanding the scope of its investigation into foreign election interference in Canada after six members requested it.

It’s not yet clear what the expanded investigation will include, but the meeting comes days after new reports that China is trying to interfere in Canada’s federal elections.

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The Globe and Mail reported on Friday China is looking to deploy a “sophisticated strategy” in the 2021 elections, defeating Conservative candidates and supporting the Federal Liberal Party for a minority government, citing a national security memo.

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The report began on November 7, 2022, when Canadian intelligence officials warned Prime Minister Trudeau that China was conducting a large-scale foreign intervention operation targeting Canada. It follows months of exclusive reports of Chinese interference attempts by the news. Through the funding of a secret network of at least 11 federal candidates running in the 2019 election, according to Global News sources.

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On December 21, 2022, Global News reported that an unredacted 2020 national security document was alleged by Beijing to cover up financial flows between Chinese officials and Canadian members of an election interference network. It reportedly claimed to have used the group’s extensive network. Advance your own political agenda in the 2019 Commonwealth Contest.

And on February 8, 2023, Global News reported that national security officials had drafted a warning to Trudeau and his office more than a year before the 2019 federal elections, stating that Chinese agents had said “Canadian candidates I am supporting him to run for public office.” Privy Council documents reviewed by Global News.

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Following Global News’ initial report, the MP last year agreed to investigate allegations that China tried to interfere in the 2019 federal elections.

That inquiry could be expanded to include the 2021 election.

Since November, the Commission has already heard from a number of witnesses on the issue, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Melanie Jolie, Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs Dominique Leblanc, former Chinese Ambassador to Canada David Mulroney, Election Canada, CSIS and RCMP officials. I’m here.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that China was trying to interfere in Canada’s democracy “including our elections”, but it was not Canadians who decided the outcome of the two recent federal elections. said it was clear.

— with files from Global News’ Irelyne Lavery.

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

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