February 23rd, 2024

Foreign interference inquiry requests postponement of first report to May

By The Canadian Press on December 22, 2023.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. A federal inquiry into foreign interference has dismissed a request from the Conservative party to reconsider an earlier decision to deny it full standing in the proceedings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – A federal inquiry into foreign interference has asked to delay its first report by about two months in order to allow sufficient time for a public process and hearings on the issues.

Commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue says in a press release today the requested postponement until May 3 is aimed at giving “meaning and purpose” to preliminary hearings, and to allow more time to maximize transparency.

She adds that ensuring classified information is put into a form that can be released to the public is a long and complicated process.

The commission will begin holding public hearings late next month, looking at attempted meddling by China, Russia and other foreign states, as well as non-state actors, in recent Canadian elections.

Earlier today the inquiry also dismissed a request from the Conservative party to reverse an earlier decision to deny it full standing in the factual phase of the proceedings.

That means the Conservative party won’t be able to cross-examine witnesses or access documents that aren’t exhibits made into evidence, though representatives will be able to attend hearings, access exhibits and make submissions.

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

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