Trudeau questions public inquiry into election interference Pipa News

Trudeau questions public inquiry into election interference

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to questions on Friday about launching a public inquiry into allegations that Beijing interfered in Canada’s recent election, telling reporters that the investigations already underway are sufficient.

Trudeau is under pressure from his political opponents to launch an investigation after media reports citing unnamed sources said the Chinese communist regime co-opted some Canadian politicians. A House of Commons committee passed a motion on Thursday in an attempt to force the government to act.

Speaking to reporters during a Winnipeg childcare announcement, an animated Trudeau said his administration has been preoccupied with the issue of foreign interference for years and has put in place a system to actively monitor interference from China and other bad actors .

When asked why he doesn’t want to investigate now, Trudeau said senior officials working on the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) have already reviewed the 2019 and 2021 campaigns and concluded that while there was some Chinese interference, those actions that did not detract from the final results.

Former senior official Morris Rosenberg released his review of the 2021 campaign earlier this week.

He found that the government of Canada had not detected any foreign interference threatening Canada’s ability to hold free and fair elections in 2019 and 2021. He also made a series of recommendations to prevent foreign interference in the future.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilièvre has said the Rosenberg report lacks credibility because Rosenberg previously held a role at the Trudeau Foundation, a non-profit organization named after the prime minister’s father. That foundation also received a $200,000 donation from a person associated with the Chinese government — money that was refunded this week.

Trudeau said on Friday that the public service selected Rosenberg for the job — and that his administration played no part in the nomination.

Trudeau also pointed out that the House of Commons proceedings and the House Affairs Committee are also in the middle of their own investigation and that the top-secret National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), which was set up by the Liberal government, is doing everything it can to it has been revised. of the information on the 2021 vote.

“All of these processes are ongoing and demonstrate the seriousness with which this government and country must address the issue of foreign interference,” Trudeau said.

“Canadians can have faith in our institutions, in our democracies and our ability to defend ourselves.”

WATCH: PM says he shares concerns about foreign election interference

Trudeau says he shares Canadians’ concerns about foreign election interference

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government has taken “significant steps” since 2015 to respond to the threat of foreign interference in elections.

Beijing is not just meddling in elections, Trudeau said, they are also trying to bully Chinese-Canadians.

Cherie Wong is the executive director of Alliance Canada Hong Kong, a group of pro-democracy advocates in Canada.

In an interview with CBC Radios The HouseWong said the Chinese-Canadian community has long been on the front lines of Beijing’s meddling.

Wong said China’s pressure on the community can be extreme at times, with harassment and harassment directed at dissidents speaking out against Beijing, but it can also take more subtle forms.

“It’s a form of influence that isn’t necessarily hardline or they say, ‘You have to do this and you have to obey,’ but rather a form of gentle pressure through social acquaintances, through economic and business matters,” she said.

“For the diaspora, we have been warning about this kind of influence from state actors since the 1990s. It is certainly not new.”

People hold signs during a protest against the Beijing Winter Olympics outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver.
People hold signs during a protest against the Beijing Winter Olympics outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Activists in Canada have faced resistance from Beijing. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Wong said Chinese-Canadians who speak out against Beijing’s abuses often see their families in Hong Kong and mainland China pay a price.

“I’m scared. I’m worried. I don’t speak to my family at home very often. I chose to cut ties with them in the hope that it would make them safer. I don’t know if that’s the case, but I think it’s a way for me to negotiate an IPO,” she said.

Wong said investigations into China’s meddling are long overdue, but she added she is nervous about an anti-Asian backlash.

She said there is a lot of “dirtyness” and “racist undertones” in the political debate about election meddling.

Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly told her Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi on Friday that Canada will never tolerate any kind of foreign interference in its internal affairs, according to a statement from Joly’s office.

Joly was “direct, firm and unequivocal” during her first meeting with Qin as China’s foreign minister, the statement said.

Beijing has denied claims it attempted to interfere in Canada’s last two elections.

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly is pictured at a G20 meeting in New Delhi, India.
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly attends the meeting of G20 Foreign Ministers in New Delhi on Thursday, March 2, 2023. (Olivier Douliery/Swimming pool via AP Photo)

“Canada will never tolerate any kind of foreign interference in our democracy and internal affairs by China,” Joly told Qin, according to the statement.

“We will never accept any violation of our territorial integrity and sovereignty. We will never accept any violation by Chinese diplomats of the Vienna Convention on Canadian soil.”

Qin has dismissed allegations that Chinese embassies and consulates in Canada attempted to interfere in Canadian elections, calling them “completely false and nonsensical”.


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