The Hamilton Spectator

RCMP still probing meddling

Inquiry looking at possible interferen­ce by China, India, Russia


RCMP commission­er Mike Duheme says the police force has several open investigat­ions into possible foreign interferen­ce in the last two general elections — probes that began only after the votes were counted.

Duheme declined to elaborate Thursday on the number or nature of the probes, citing the integrity of the investigat­ions, privacy concerns and public safety.

“We don’t comment on ongoing investigat­ions,” Duheme said after appearing at a federal commission of inquiry into foreign interferen­ce.

The hearings are part of the inquiry’s examinatio­n of possible meddling by China, India, Russia and others in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Deputy RCMP commission­er

Mark Flynn provided few other details about the ongoing probes, but indicated to reporters that some of the leads emerged through individual­s “speaking about their own experience­s very publicly,” including in the House of Commons.

Former Conservati­ve leader Erin O’Toole, Conservati­ve MP Michael Chong and New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan have all been identified publicly as possible targets of foreign interferen­ce by China.

In a classified February interview with the inquiry, Duheme said the RCMP did not open any foreign interferen­ce-related criminal investigat­ions during the last two general elections.

A public summary of the interview, tabled Thursday at the inquiry, reveals that Duheme also said none of the force’s partners referred intelligen­ce to the Mounties that would have warranted such criminal investigat­ions.

A former deputy minister of foreign affairs told the inquiry in a classified interview that Canada’s security and intelligen­ce community has been closely monitoring attempted meddling by China. But Marta Morgan said such activity did not reach the threshold for taking diplomatic measures against Chinese officials.

The Communicat­ions Security Establishm­ent, which monitors foreign signals intelligen­ce, was alert to potential threats during both of the last two elections, said Dan Rogers, a former senior official with the agency.

The most significan­t piece of intelligen­ce gathered during that period emerged after the 2021 election and involved allegation­s about the potential distributi­on of funds, he testified Thursday.

None of the RCMP’s partners referred intelligen­ce to the Mounties that would have warranted such criminal investigat­ions

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