Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Image: AP
Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will discuss the issue of foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs. Ahead of travelling to India to attend the G20 Summit, Trudeau said, “As always, we will emphasise how important the rule of law is" while speaking with CBC News in Singapore. When asked by reporters about the foreign interference issue flagged by India on multiple occasions, Trudeau said, “It is incredibly important that we continue to protect Canadians from any types of interference.”
“One of the things we’re focused on in this inquiry is recognising. Yes China and Russia are responsible for interference, but other countries engage in it as well,” the Canadian PM stressed.
Last week, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, announced the establishment of a Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions in Canada. The inquiry was launched after extensive consultations with all recognized parties in the House of Commons, all parties agreed to the Terms of Reference and the appointment of the Commissioner. The inquiry would involve the examination of the interference by China, Russia and other foreign states or non-state actors, including any potential impacts, to confirm the integrity of the 43rd and 44th Federal General Elections in Canada at the national and electoral district levels.
The inquiry will be headed by Marie-Josée Hogue, a judge in the province of Quebec. She “is mandated to examine and assess interference by China, Russia and other foreign states or non-state actors, including any potential impacts, to confirm the integrity of, and any impacts on, the 43rd and 44th Federal General Elections at the national and electoral district levels,” according to a release from the Public Safety department. An interim report will be presented by February 29, 2024, while a final report will be published by December, next year. Hogue mandated access to the federal entities to detect, deter and counter foreign interference targeting Canada’s democratic processes.