We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of Cookies, Privacy Policy Term of use.
Video Player is loading.
Current Time 0:00
Duration 0:00
Loaded: 0%
Stream Type LIVE
Remaining Time 0:00
120 views • March 7, 2023

Trudeau to Appoint 'Independent Rapporteur' on Election Foreign Interference

NTD News
NTD News
Amid increased pressure for a public inquiry, the Liberal government will appoint an independent special rapporteur to look into foreign interference in Canadian elections, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on March 6. Trudeau listed the measures taken by his government to counter foreign interference in elections during a press conference in Ottawa, but said his government will also be appointing an “eminent Canadian” as an “independent special rapporteur” on the issue, as he said he knows some will say the existing measures aren’t enough. The selection of the rapporteur will be by the government rather than Parliament, but the prime minister said he’s open to listening to recommendations from other parties on the appointment. Trudeau also said that the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), a parliamentary committee that reports to the prime minister, as well as the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), will be reviewing the issues related to election interference. Opposition parties have called for a public inquiry into election integrity amid reports of widespread election interference by Beijing, with a commissioner appointed by Parliament. Calling the debate around the issue of holding a public inquiry partisan, Trudeau said the rapporteur’s first task will be to recommend what process is next required, such as a formal inquiry or another type of review process. Trudeau said this could take the same format as the Public Order Emergency Commission overseen by Justice Paul Rouleau if the rapporteur elects to do so. “But given the limits and shortcomings of that process, perhaps he will choose another way to reassure Canadians about foreign interference,” he said in French. Rouleau’s report released last month on Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with protesters last winter said the government had met the threshold. Along with deciding on next steps, the rapporteur is to also inform the work of NSICOP and NSIRA, and review processes such as that of Elections Canada. Trudeau said NSICOP, a parliamentary committee that reviews matters of national security and intelligence, will be reviewing interference attempts in the 2019 and 2021 elections. The committee, which includes MPs from multiple parties as well as one senator, reports to the prime minister. The NSIRA, the national intelligence watchdog, will be examining the issue independently. Other Measures Trudeau, who was flanked by several ministers during the press conference, also announced other measures around the issue of foreign interference. He said he has tasked Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino with launching consultations on the creation of a foreign agent registry, but didn’t provide a timeline. This should be done in conjunction with “protecting communities who are often both targeted by attempts at foreign interference and who feel targeted when xenophobia and fear mongering overtake legitimate concern for our democracy and national security,” Trudeau said. Last week, when first asked to comment on the allegations that he had ignored a warning by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that a named Liberal Party candidate who was supported by Beijing in 2019, Trudeau linked the concerns to racism. Recent articles by Global News and the Globe and Mail citing intelligence leaks and national security sources have reported about other forms of interference in Canada's federal elections in 2019 and 2021 by the Chinese communist regime. When asked about why it took so long for the government to start consultations on a registry, Trudeau acknowledged that it’s something that has “long been discussed” and that lessons would be drawn from the work done on the matter by U.S. and Australian allies. The prime minister also said he tasked Mendicino with creating a coordination bureau on foreign interference within his department. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who has called for a public inquiry, called the latest moves a “coverup.” “A so-called ‘special r
Show All
Comment 0