Canada is reviewing possible Chinese government interference in its 2021 general election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would name a special counsel to decide whether allegations of interference should be publicly investigated. The head of government is also having the parliamentary national security committee review secret information on the matter.
The Globe and Mail newspaper reported in February, citing unnamed intelligence sources, that China had favored a victory for Trudeau's Liberals in the 2021 election and was working to remove conservative politicians critical of Beijing from parliament. The opposition parties are calling for a full public inquiry. Trudeau declined to do so for the time being and is now leaving that decision to the Special Rapporteur. He announced he would respect the recommendation.
Trudeau said all political parties agreed that the 2019 and 2021 election results were not affected by foreign interference. "But even if the outcome of our elections is unchanged, any attempt at interference by a foreign actor is worrying and serious."
The leader of the conservative opposition, Pierre Poilievre, criticized the assignment to the parliamentary committee on Monday. He said this would only result in some information being presented to opposition MPs and then sworn to secrecy. "Basically, that would be a ploy to prevent anyone from speaking out on the subject."
A recent report came out which concluded that there had been attempts at foreign interference, but that had no effect on the outcome of the election. "We have known for a long time, and an independent report confirmed it again last week, that the Chinese government and other regimes like Iran and Russia have tried to interfere not only with our democracy but with our country in general," Trudeau said.
"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.