Canada to examine whether China interfered in its 2021 election

TORONTO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he would appoint a special investigator to decide whether there should be a public inquiry into the reports of Chinese interference in Canadian elections.
Trudeau is also asking a parliamentary committee on national security to review classified information on the issue.
The Globe and Mail, citing unidentified intelligence sources, reported last month that China would rather see the Trudeau Liberals re-elected in the 2021 election and was working to defeat conservative politicians seen as hostile to Beijing.
Opposition parties are calling for a full public inquiry.
Trudeau has declined to do so now, but said he would appoint an independent special rapporteur who will decide whether a public inquiry is needed. Trudeau says he will abide by the recommendation.
“We will ask the Independent Special Rapporteur, as one of the first tasks of his mandate, to provide the government with a recommendation on the appropriate next step – whether that be an inquiry, an inquiry or of judicial review – and what the scope of that work may be,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau said “all political leaders agree that the results of the 2019 and 2021 elections were unaffected by foreign interference. But while that did not change the results of our elections, any attempt to Interference, by any foreign actor, is troubling and serious.
Earlier Monday, Conservative Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized the idea of ​​a parliamentary committee being involved.
He said that would only result in officials presenting opposition lawmakers with “certain information and then swearing them to secrecy so they can never talk about it again.” So, yes, that would be a trick to try to prevent anyone from debating the subject.
A group of officials recently released a report concluding that there were attempts at foreign interference, but none affected the outcome of the election.
“We have known for a long time, as an independent report confirmed again last week, that the Chinese government, and other regimes like Iran and Russia, have tried to interfere not only in our democracy, but in our country in general, whether it is our institutions, our businesses, our research facilities or in the daily lives of our citizens,” said Trudeau.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, meanwhile, said on Monday it was investigating possible breaches of the Privacy Act regarding recent media reports of alleged foreign interference in the past two elections. federal.
Daniel Béland, a professor of political science at McGill University in Montreal, said the appointment of a special investigator was clearly an attempt to buy time.
“The fact that he did not rule out a possible special public inquiry suggests that is now a real possibility, even if such an inquiry would appear to be a politically risky Pandora’s box for the Trudeau Liberals,” Béland said.
“It really depends on what’s uncovered in the weeks and months to come, but the whole situation is turning into a major political challenge for liberals that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.”


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