June 15th, 2024

Political spin on election interference helps China undermine democracies: Trudeau

By The Canadian Press on February 22, 2023.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a town hall event with the carpenters' union in Woodbridge, Ont., on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says members of Parliament who put a political spin on foreign election interference are helping China undermine Canadians’ confidence in their democracy.

He says playing “political games” to get a partisan advantage will undermine people’s trust in their institutions, and will only assist the efforts of countries like Russia and China that attempt to make democracies unstable.

He told reporters today that Canadians must have trust in the electoral process, regardless of which political party is in power, and parties must work together on the issue.

Trudeau said he is happy that a House of Commons committee agreed on Tuesday to study possible foreign interference in the 2021 election, and call on cabinet members and national security agencies to testify about it.

A non-partisan panel of top public servants is tasked under a federal protocol with alerting Canadians about foreign interference if it threatened their ability to have a free and fair election, and it did not do so in 2019 or 2021.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press with an access-to-information request say that “considerable judgment” would go into deciding whether or not an event or series of events met the “threshold” for such an announcement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2023.

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