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Warnings of Election Meddling by China Never Reached the Prime Minister

WorldWarnings of Election Meddling by China Never Reached the Prime Minister

It can be a bit difficult to keep tabs on the various inquiries and examinations into foreign interference in Canadian elections, particularly by China.

Ottawa’s latest growth industry was largely created by a series of leaks of highly classified intelligence that first appeared in The Globe and Mail, and then Global News, that described attempts by the Chinese government to meddle in the last two elections with the goal of returning the Liberals to power, if again with a minority government.

First was a report from a group of senior civil servants that found that while China, Russia and Iran had tried to subvert the 2019 and 2021 federal votes, their efforts had failed.

Next, David Johnston, the former governor general, looked at the body of evidence that produced the leak. Mr. Johnston stepped down before finishing his inquiry after the opposition argued that his close ties to the Trudeau family meant that his assessment would not be independent. But, in a preliminary report, he concluded that foreign powers were “undoubtedly attempting to influence candidates and voters in Canada.” But Mr. Johnston added that, after looking at everything, he found that “several leaked materials that raised legitimate questions turn out to have been misconstrued in some media reports, presumably because of the lack of this context.”

At the end of March, a committee of Parliamentarians who had been cleared to review classified intelligence turned over its election interference report to the government. The censored, public version of its findings has yet to be released.


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