Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday he will appoint an independent special investigator to probe alleged election interference by China and also announced separate new probes into the suspected foreign meddling.
A flurry of leaked intelligence reports has reignited allegations that China interfered in Canada’s recent federal elections, kicking off a fierce debate over possible responses to Beijing’s meddling.
But the leaks also run the risk of harming Canada’s reputation among its allies, experts warn, as the country’s spy agency struggles to respond to mounting public concern.
Opposition leaders have pushed the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, for a public inquiry into how China attempted to sway the result of two federal elections in its favour.
Trudeau announced he would appoint a special rapporteur to investigate foreign interference allegations, as well as the creation of a foreign agent registry.
“We believe deeply in the values of freedom, openness, and dialogue. These values are not universally shared by every government around the world,” Trudeau said. “Indeed, I don’t know if in our lifetime, we’ve seen democracy in a more precarious place. Many state actors and non state actors want to foster instability here and elsewhere, to advance their own interests.”
Trudeau citied a recent report that found neither China nor any other nation was able to successfully interfere in Canada’s elections.
“We will always stand firm when it comes to defending our national security,” he said.
Members of an independent panel, set up to monitor possible threats to elections, recently told lawmakers that the meddling attempts by China and other nations did not threaten Canada’s ability to have a free and fair election in 2021.
But concerns over China’s actions in Canada have grown in recent months, following reports of illegal “police stations” operating in major cities.
The Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, said the most recent allegations of Chinese attempts to subvert federal elections demanded an outside review, suggesting ahead of the prime minister’ announcement that Trudeau would just try to “sweep this under the rug” and keep the process secretive.
From The Shadows Emerges Knoweldge