Prime Minister Justine Trudeau announced that he would appoint an independent special rapporteur to probe alleged Chinese interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections in Canada.
Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 6, Mr Trudeau said the reports challenging Canada’s “sovereignty” are alarming, and “strike us to our very core as Canadians”.
“I will be appointing an independent special rapporteur, who will have a wide mandate and make expert recommendations on combating interference and strengthening our democracy,” Mr Trudeau said.
A series of reports in the Globe and Mail newspaper and broadcaster Global News in recent weeks, based on leaks from Canadian intelligence sources, detailed alleged attempts by China’s Communist Party to interfere in the last two federal elections.
China has denied any election interference, calling the claims “purely baseless and defamatory”.
A federal public report last week found that efforts to meddle in the 2021 federal election did not affect the results. Canadian opposition parties – the New Democrats and the Conservatives – have been pushing for an “independent and public” inquiry into the accounts.
A poll released last week by the Angus Reid Institute found that around 65% of Canadians say they believe that Beijing attempted to meddle in both recent federal elections.