The Hamilton Spectator

Report on foreign interferen­ce panel’s work gets sent to PMO

Tories call for Telford to testify before committee


An assessment of the work done by a panel tasked with flagging incidents of foreign interferen­ce during the 2021 federal election is now complete and has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security and Intelligen­ce Committee of Parliament­arians, the Privy Council Office has confirmed.

A Critical Election Incident Public Protocol created to monitor and report threats during the 2019 and 2021 elections is required to publish a postelecti­on assessment of its work.

The 2019 evaluation came about 13 months after the campaign held that year, but the 2021 report is still not available.

The update from the Privy Council marks the first report on its status.

The Privy Council Office says an unclassifi­ed and public version of the report is being finalized and will be made available soon, but offered no specific timeline.

It said Morris Rosenberg, a former senior public servant, was chosen in summer 2022 to prepare the independen­t report.

“Mr. Rosenberg’s comprehens­ive evaluation is based on multiple sources, including interviews with a wide variety of actors, as well as the review of government documents and publicatio­ns from foreign government­s and non-government­al organizati­ons,” a statement from the Privy Council said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government is facing pressure over allegation­s of election interferen­ce by China, said last week he was looking forward to seeing the report when it is complete.

The Conservati­ve Party of Canada is renewing calls to have Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, testify at a House of Commons committee investigat­ing election interferen­ce.

Global News reported Friday night that Liberal MP Han Dong was allegedly helped by the Chinese consulate while running to be the Liberal party candidate in the Toronto-area riding of Don Valley North in 2019.

The Global report alleged CSIS urged senior Liberal party staff to rescind his nomination, but Trudeau approved his candidacy. Dong was reelected in 2021.

Following that reporting, Conservati­ves put out a fresh call for Telford to testify at an upcoming committee meeting.

Conservati­ve MP Michael Cooper issued a statement saying Trudeau and his government “cannot hide any longer.”

“It would be beyond outrageous if the prime minister of our country was made aware that one of his Liberal candidates was compromise­d by the Chinese Communist Party and outright refused to do the right thing,” he said.

“It is crucial for confidence in our democracy that we know what Justin Trudeau and his government knew and when.”

The 2019 assessment report of the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol found its use was successful and ready to alert Canadians of foreign interferen­ce if warranted.

But the panel members, who were to work with national security agencies under their department­s’ mandates, did not make any announceme­nts about foreign interferen­ce during the 2019 or 2021 elections.

 ?? NATHAN DENETTE THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO ?? Toronto-area MP Han Dong is denying a report that alleges China helped him win a 2019 Liberal nomination contest.
NATHAN DENETTE THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO Toronto-area MP Han Dong is denying a report that alleges China helped him win a 2019 Liberal nomination contest.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada