O Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeauannounced on Monday a package of measures to clarify accusations of interference Chinese in his country’s last two federal elections. The measures include the appointment in the coming days of an independent special rapporteur, who “will make expert recommendations on protecting our democracy,” Trudeau said.
The Prime Minister added that he had also appointed two commissions to investigate allegations of foreign interference. Opposition parties have been calling for an independent public inquiry for several days following Canadian media reports based on intelligence reports.
One of the first tasks of the special rapporteur will be to advise the government on the next steps, including possible public consultation. “Whether it’s an investigation or a judicial review, we will comply with your recommendations,” said Trudeau, who called the interference allegations “serious” and “worrying.”
Trudeau instructed lawmakers on the parliamentary national security committee to re-examine the allegations, after presenting a report in 2019 recommending the government do more. “Any attack or attempted attack on our democracy is unacceptable,” Trudeau said, noting that “the Chinese government and other regimes like Iran or Russia have tried to interfere not only with our democracy, but with our country in general. “This is not a new problem,” he added.
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In recent weeks, Canadian media have published stories based on leaked intelligence services about alleged attempts by Beijing to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, through clandestine funding or involvement. in the campaigns of some candidates. Chinese authorities have “strongly” denounced the allegations, calling them “defamatory”. Last week, an independent report said there had been attempts to interfere, but that they had not affected the outcome of the election.
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