Canada Launches Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference

The Canadian government announced Thursday the launch of a public inquiry into foreign interference in the past two federal elections. This sets the stage for the next chapter of a years-long dispute over how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has handled the issue....

Canada Launches Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference
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Facts

  • The Canadian government announced Thursday the launch of a public inquiry into foreign interference in the past two federal elections. This sets the stage for the next chapter of a years-long dispute over how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has handled the issue.1
  • Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, from the Quebec Court of Appeal, has been named to lead the inquiry, which will look into potential interference from China, Russia and other foreign and non-state actors.2
  • She will have access to review security documents and files covered by cabinet confidence as well as the power to subpoena witnesses, including the prime minister and members of his cabinet, for hearings that will at least begin in public.3
  • Democratic Institutions Minister Dominic LeBlanc added that the 16-month probe will start on Sept. 18. An interim report is expected by the end of February and a final version will be submitted by the end of December 2024.4
  • This is the second such probe into these allegations, with former Governor General David Johnston being appointed in March but resigning and ending it three months later, citing a 'highly partisan atmosphere.'5
  • A majority of lawmakers in the House of Commons passed a motion calling Johnston to resign as rapporteur in late May, expressing concerns over his relationship with the Trudeau family. Johnston suggested opposition to a public inquiry into the issue.6

Sources: 1Politico, 2BBC News, 3Cbc, 4Canada's national observer, 5Forbes and 6Guardian.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by Tnc. Trudeau has been obfuscating his authoritarian tendencies, doing everything he could to prevent a public inquiry even at the expense of faith and confidence in the Canadian democratic system. This move has only been made possible due to intense pressure from Conservatives as they fight to deliver real answers to Canadians.
  • Left narrative, as provided by Rabble.ca. Trudeau was right to carefully choose how to react to PRC actions because fueling a new Cold War would be a catastrophic geopolitical mistake. It's certain that Beijing seeks to shape reality in its own interests — as every great power does — but allegations of Chinese interference are mainly about suppressing dissent on its own soil, not installing a pro-Chinese government in Canada.

Predictions