Canada launches public inquiry into foreign interference

A The judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, Marie-Josée Hogue, whom Otava describes in a press release as “one of the best litigators in Canada”, will chair this new commission of inquiry as of September 18.

“Judge Hogue’s mission will be to analyze and assess the interference of China, Russia and other state and non-state actors… in order to uphold the integrity of the 2019 general election and 2021,” the Minister of Advertising said today. Security and democratic institutions, Dominic LeBlanc, during a press conference.

In recent months, China’s alleged interference in Canada’s last two federal elections has placed the government under pressure from opposition parties.

In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau entrusted David Johnston, former governor general, with the delicate mission of investigating suspicions of interference from Beijing, but he – criticized for being too close to Trudeau – resigned three months later.

Commissioner Hogue is expected to present a progress report on her investigation at the end of February and submit her final report to the federal government in December 2024.

“Foreign interference in Canadian democratic institutions is unacceptable,” said Minister LeBlanc.

Sino-Canadian relations deteriorated sharply five years ago, when Canada, at the request of the United States, arrested the financial director of telecommunications giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou.

Days later, two Canadian citizens, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, were arrested in China, in what was widely seen as a retaliatory measure at the time.

Although these three people were subsequently released, tensions remain between the two countries, with Beijing criticizing Ottawa for its alignment with US policy towards China and Canadian authorities regularly accusing Beijing of interference in affairs public.

At the end of August, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault visited China in what was the first Canadian ministerial visit to that country in four years.

During Guilbeault’s stay, the issue of China’s alleged interference in the Canadian elections was not addressed by Beijing, the minister said at the time.

Also read: Canada issues warning to ‘homosexual’ people traveling to the United States

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Alaric Cohen

"Freelance communicator. Hardcore web practitioner. Entrepreneur. Total student. Beer ninja."

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