May 22nd, 2024

Feds advance ideas to fight foreign interference, prompting support and concern

By The Canadian Press on April 29, 2024.

Commissioner Justice Marie-Josee Hogue listens as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears as a witness at the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. A federal inquiry into foreign interference has yet to present its initial report, but the Liberal government is already advancing plans to overhaul a suite of national security laws and procedures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – A federal inquiry into foreign interference has yet to present its initial report, but the Liberal government is already advancing plans to overhaul a suite of national security laws and procedures.

The government says recent consultations found general support for measures to respond to foreign meddling, along with some concerns about the potential effects on vulnerable communities.

Ottawa is eyeing creation of new foreign interference offences under the Security of Information Act, as well as modernization of Canada’s sabotage offence.

It is also looking at changes to the legislation governing the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to expand the spy agency’s ability to share information, collect intelligence and use data.

An earlier public consultation found support last year for establishing a foreign influence transparency registry, but participants stressed a need for clarity on how it would work.

A federal inquiry into foreign interference is expected to soon deliver a report on allegations of meddling in the last two general elections.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

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