After China, Did India Also Interfere With Canadian Elections?

A CSIS Intelligence Assessment from October 2022 has brought to light allegations of foreign interference in Canada’s political landscape, with both China and India implicated in sweeping election meddling operations. According to the report, government agents from India are accused of manipulating the Conservative Party’s 2022 leadership race, raising concerns about the integrity of the democratic process.

The report underscores the significant threat posed by China, which has been known to clandestinely fund preferred candidates through diaspora groups, influencing Canadian politicians to adopt policies detrimental to the nation’s interests. However, the document reveals that India has been employing similar tactics, with government agents allegedly purchasing memberships for one candidate and undermining another in an attempt to secure influence.

The October 2022 Intelligence Assessment suggests that an Indian proxy agent, claiming to provide electoral support, including substantial amounts of money, is actively involved in supporting politicians at various levels of the Canadian government. The agent’s objective is not only to keep pro-Indian politicians in power through covert funding but also to establish a bond with newly elected officials, ensuring future favors.

The DEA responded rapidly to an Indian government assassination plot and used its sources to gather evidence.
Source: TheBureau.News

Similar to China’s strategy of leveraging community leaders to sway Chinese-language voters, the report highlights the Indian agent’s role as a gatekeeper for community support in areas with a significant South Asian diaspora, crucial for electoral success.

The revelations gain urgency in light of a recent U.S. Department of Justice indictment, implicating Indian government agents in directing international gangsters involved in assassination plots against Sikh separatists in Canada and the United States. The indictment exposes unsettling connections between Indian security officials and transnational criminal networks, mirroring similar criminal activities linked to Beijing’s United Front and election interference in Canada.

Despite these alarming findings, it remains unclear whether Canada’s upcoming Foreign Interference Commission, criticized for its narrow mandate, will address the U.S. Justice allegations or RCMP evidence indicating foreign states, including China, are employing organized crime proxies for interference in Canada.

The Intelligence Assessment also points to India’s involvement in the Conservative Party’s leadership race, indicating that the Government of India engaged in foreign interference activities. The report states that a proxy agent claimed India provided support to an elected Canadian politician’s campaign for the party’s leadership by securing party memberships.

The document further reveals instances where an Indian Consulate allegedly informed a leadership candidate with conflicting policy positions that they could not attend Indian community events, highlighting the extent of influence that foreign states can exert over diaspora communities.

While both the Greens and Conservatives had leadership races in 2022, details of the case strongly suggest that the Conservatives were the primary target of India’s interference efforts.

In response to the allegations, Conservative director of communications Sarah Fischer stated that the party and its leader, Pierre Poilievre, are not aware of the CSIS allegations reported in this story. However, Fischer emphasized the need for the Foreign Interference Commission to investigate all forms of foreign interference, including the use of organized crime proxies by hostile states.

The revelations continue to unfold as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently linked India to the June 2023 murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Vancouver-based Khalistan-separatist, based on credible intelligence. The U.S. Department of Justice indictment further alleges Indian officials’ involvement in hiring a hitman to assassinate a Sikh activist in New York City, raising serious questions about the extent of foreign influence in Canada’s internal affairs.

This adds layer to the investigation into foreign interference as the Canadian government, through Order P.C. 2023-883 dated September 7, 2023, has officially designated the inquiry on China’s possible interference with Canadian elections. The order sets the motion of the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions as a department under the Financial Administration Act. 

The catch: Trudeau has been appointed as the appropriate minister for this commission.

As Canada grapples with these allegations of foreign interference, the nation’s security agencies face mounting challenges in deterring transnational crime that serves the geopolitical objectives of states like China, Russia, and Iran. The unfolding events underscore the importance of a comprehensive investigation by the Foreign Interference Commission to safeguard the integrity of Canada’s democratic processes.

Information for this briefing was found via The Bureau and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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