Mar 07, 2023

By Jane Brown

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We are expecting to learn in the coming days who the prime minister will name as an “independent special rapporteur” related to foreign interference in Canada’s elections.

Justin Trudeau explained in an early evening news conference on Monday that this individual will have a wide mandate and make expert recommendations on combating foreign interference and strengthening Canada’s democracy.

The prime minister also announced he’s asking MPs and senators on the parliamentary national security committee to launch a new investigation into foreign interference in Canada.

“Foreign interference is a complex landscape that should not be boiled down to sound bites and binary choices,” Trudeau explained, “And it should certainly not be about partisan politics.”

Those comments were likely directed toward Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre who demanded earlier in the day a full public inquiry into allegations that China worked to help ensure a Liberal minority win in the 2021 election.

“We’re not going to have a situation where Conservatives are told that they have to be quiet about this scandal because they’re sworn to secrecy,” Poilievre warned, “We need as a public inquiry that is truly independent.”

Also calling for an inquiry is NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh who says unlike the Conservatives who he says are creating a political circus, New Democrats want to get to the truth.

Concerns around foreign interference in Canada’s elections have ballooned since the Globe and Mail published a series of stories citing leaks from Canada’s spy agency, CSIS, that misinformation was spread in 2021 on social media to affect Chinese language voters in order to secure a Liberal minority government, seen as more friendly to Beijing.

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