February 22, 2024

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Foreign interference: Trudeau will appoint an independent special rapporteur

Foreign interference: Trudeau will appoint an independent special rapporteur

A fitted Broad mandateThis reporter, whose identity has not been disclosed, will make recommendations in this regard To protect our democracy.

We will ask the independent special rapporteur, as one of the first tasks of his mandate, to make a recommendation to the government on the appropriate next step for an inquiry, review or judicial review and what its purpose should be. of this work. And we will appreciate his recommendationThe Prime Minister announced the afternoon addition to his schedule during a press conference on Monday.

Mr. Trudeau argued Responsible actions without interfering with the work of our intelligence community and impartial authorities.

He added that he had asked officials from the Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security and Intelligence (CPSNR) and the Office of the Oversight of National Security and Intelligence (OSSNR). Urgent measures should be taken In the case of foreign interference.

CPSNR works behind closed doors. It is made up of members of parliament and senators from all recognized political parties in the House of Commons, all of whom have a level of security clearance. Top secret And all of them are forever bound to secrecy. And the OSSNR is an agency that reviews national security and intelligence-related activities carried out by the government.

To me, it boils down to two things: our democratic institutions are free from foreign interference, and Canadians believe that’s the case.said the Prime Minister.

Objection to closed-door hearings

Calls have been mounting for weeks for the Trudeau government to launch a public and independent inquiry into the matter.

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Former advisers to the Prime Minister such as Gerald Butts said The Globe and Mail It was necessary. The former Chief Electoral Officer did the same.

Morris Rosenberg, a former senior civil servant who prepared an assessment report on the protocol designed to notify Canadians of threats in the 2021 federal election, told CTV that the option of an investigative panel, in his view, should be there. On top of the table.

In a written statement, New Democratic Party (NDP) House Leader Peter Julian called for an independent and impartial public inquiry to be launched. The NDP does not believe the CPSNR is an acceptable alternative to a public hearing. The group is partisan and takes place behind closed doorshe said.

Prior to the announcement, Conservative Party of Canada deputy leader Luke Berthold also opposed the closed-door hearing. We will succeed in preventing these actions and protect our democracy by submitting the case of foreign interference by the Communist regime in Beijing to the secret committees.He said on the floor of the House of Commons.

Last week, all major opposition parties came together and passed a motion in the committee calling for such independent action. The Liberals on the Standing Committee on Procedure and Home Affairs opposed the NDP motion, but the wording was approved anyway, with support from the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois.

Group Fire in the Commons

The issue took up more than half of Question Time on Monday. The opposition fired back at the Trudeau government.

Pierre Poilievre, leader of the official opposition, set the ball rolling from the first moments of the game on this day when the House of Commons resumed work. Our Intelligence Unit informed the Prime Minister that this government interfered in two elections to support the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister did nothing. Will he finally allow an independent public inquiry to let Canadians know the truth?He began.

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Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominique LeBlanc rose to respond. It will not surprise you that I disagree with the Leader of the Opposition when he falsely claims that the government is doing nothing. We acted as soon as we formed the government to stamp out foreign interference in our electionsHe retorted.

Liberals have been repeating for months that the panel of experts concluded that the integrity of the 2019 and 2021 elections was preserved despite attempts at foreign interference. The panel was set up by Justin Trudeau’s government.

We are the only government that has done that. When my friend the Leader of the Opposition was the Minister in charge of Democratic Institutions, he did nothing when the intelligence agencies raised this issue 10 years ago.Mr. LeBlanc argued.

“serious” allegations of interference

A series of reports from Global Network and Daily The Globe and Mail Extensive Chinese-planned attempts to interfere in the last two federal election campaigns.

The allegations, made in anonymous leaks to the media from sources in Canadian security agencies, suggest Beijing wanted to ensure the re-election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals – who lead a minority government – at the expense of the Conservatives. To do so, embassies are reportedly being pressured to mobilize members of the Chinese-Canadian community.

Whenever the integrity of the democratic process is threatened, it is the responsibility of all of us in this House to protect it. At stake here is the public’s faith in our democratic system. This is beyond the question of partisanshipOn Monday, Bloc attacked Parliament leader Alain Therrien.

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New Democratic Party Vice President Alexandre Bouleris added Certain things are important, such as the fairness of the electoral process and trust in institutions. There are serious allegations of meddling and it is the Prime Minister’s responsibility to launch a public inquiry to shed light. People deserve transparencyHe decided.

So far, the prime minister has not ruled out the idea of ​​a commission of inquiry, but he has repeatedly emphasized that a parliamentary committee inquiry is already underway in public.

Experts heard before the committee confirmed that a public and independent inquiry would come up against the limitations of the current parliamentary inquiry. This was particularly the case with Jody Thomas, an intelligence adviser at the Privy Council Office, who highlighted the problem. We cannot discuss information related to national security in public, she argued. Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director David Vignault made similar comments.