Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Canadians that the federal government is taking “significant measures” to thwart foreign interference on federal elections.
“We have taken significant measures to strengthen the integrity of our elections processes and our systems, and we’ll continue to invest in the fight against election interference, against foreign interference of our democracy and institutions,” Trudeau told reporters on Monday afternoon.
The prime minister’s comments come after a report by Global News bared that Trudeau was delivered with a series of briefings and memos by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) back in January, including China’s efforts to secretly support a network of candidates in the 2019 election.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing countries, state actors from around the world, whether it’s China or others, are continuing to play aggressive games with our institutions, with our democracies,” he added.
Further on the report, CSIS believes the consulate was behind a large financial transaction involving at least 11 federal election candidates and Chinese government-affiliated operatives working as campaign staffers. An amount of $250,000 was allegedly transferred to a federal election candidate via a provincial Ontario lawmaker and a staffer.
However, the intelligence reports did not conclude whether CSIS believes the network successfully influenced the October 2019 election results.
When asked for comment on the report, the prime minister’s earlier statement said, “protecting Canadians’ security is our top priority. Threats, harassment, or intimidation of Canadian citizens are unacceptable, and all allegations of interference are investigated thoroughly by our security agencies.”
The alleged election interference, which come on the same day that a close associate of Vladimir Putin said Russia had previously intervened in US elections, are sure to heighten concerns about the extent of Russian meddling in Canadian domestic affairs.
Over national security concerns, Canada has forced three Chinese corporations to withdraw from Canadian mining firms. A group of Canadian parliamentarians visited Taiwan last month, sparking Beijing’s indignation that Ottawa was “grossly interfer[ing] in China’s internal affairs.”
Canada and China are slated to co-host Cop15, the global biodiversity conference, in December.
Information for this briefing was found via The Guardian, Global News, 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.