July 20th, 2024

B.C. premier urges PM to provide foreign interference information to protect province

By The Canadian Press on June 17, 2024.

Premier David Eby says British Columbia urgently needs information from Canada’s spy agency to help combat alleged foreign interference at the provincial level. Eby speaks during the media availability at the 2024 Western Premiers Conference in Whitehorse, Monday, June 10, 2024. CANADIAN PRESS/Crystal Schick

VANCOUVER – Premier David Eby says British Columbia urgently needs information from Canada’s spy agency to help combat alleged foreign interference at the provincial level.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Eby says B.C. does not have the information it needs to intercept and address allegations of foreign interference that may be occurring in the province.

The premier says the sharing of information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is long overdue, and he urges Trudeau to quickly bring into force CSIS Act amendments that were introduced to Parliament last month.

Public Safety Canada says the amendments are intended to allow CSIS to make “broader disclosure” of information beyond the federal government.

Eby’s letter says there are credible reasons to suspect state-level interference with B.C. residents who have personal connections or relatives in China, Iran, Ukraine, India and Russia.

It says his government also has “grave concerns” about the activities of transnational organized crime, while expert advice on a recent computer security incident targeting provincial government email gives it reason to suspect state-level actors.

Eby’s letter also asks the prime minister to provide B.C. with information before the passage of the CSIS bill that could help protect the people of the province and its democratic institutions from foreign interference.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2024.

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