(Ottawa) Justin Trudeau is increasingly isolated: after the Bloc and the New Democrats, the Conservatives are now calling for a public and transparent inquiry into Chinese interference in the federal election.
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre officially called on Wednesday for a public inquiry to be opened into the issue, subject to certain conditions, including that the person leading the inquiry be chosen by the house leaders of all parties, and that its work does not interfere with that of the procedure and House affairs committee.
“In the time it takes to establish and conduct a public inquiry, and produce a report, there could well be another election that could be the target of foreign interference. We will not let Justin Trudeau and his NDP cronies hide this investigation behind closed doors, away from the public eye,” the leader said ahead of the committee meeting in question.
MPs hear from several senior government officials, including the Prime Minister’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas.
Prime Minister Trudeau has so far not outright rejected the idea of a public inquiry, but neither has he embraced it.
“It’s really an important thing and a very good thing that Canadians are so interested in obtaining assurances that our democratic principles and practices continue to be protected from interference by authoritarian governments,” he said. at a press briefing in Toronto last Monday.
But he relies on the work of the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians, which brings together elected officials and senators who meet behind closed doors, as well as that of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
Beijing blamed for its interference
The government released a report on Tuesday on the conduct of the last federal election, in 2021.
Although it concludes that foreign interference, if any, did not “threaten Canada’s ability to hold free and fair elections”, it points to China as finger.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) “expressed concern that China has, among other things, attempted to target elected officials to further its national interests and encouraged individuals to act as proxies for China,” it reads. -we.
The intelligence agency also claims that the Xi Jinping regime “uses many techniques, including threats against the Chinese community in Canada”, and that these attempts are not only made during elections, but well all the time.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada has denied any attempt to meddle in Canadian internal affairs.
“The allegations contained in the report are purely unfounded and defamatory. China has always firmly opposed any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” it said by email on Thursday.
“We do not want to meddle in the internal affairs of Canada, and we have never tried to do so”, it was added before accusing “certain Canadian agencies and media” of having “manufactured and disseminated” misinformation about China “seriously misleading the public”.