Canada: Trudeau Orders Probe into Alleged Chinese Election Meddling

    Canada: Trudeau Orders Probe into Alleged Chinese Election Meddling
    Last updated Mar 07, 2023
    Image credit: Chinadaily


    • On Monday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announced an independent special rapporteur to investigate recent allegations of Chinese interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections and two probes by the parliament’s national security committee and Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.[1]
    • This comes after Canadian media reports cited anonymous intelligence sources claiming China's influence in the previous two elections. Police are currently investigating the reports for potential violations of security laws.[1]
    • The Globe and Mail reported last month that China preferred to see Trudeau's Liberals re-elected in 2021 over Conservative politicians who hold a harsher stance on Beijing. Government officials recognized the alleged attempted meddling but maintained the election outcomes weren't affected.[2]
    • This was echoed by an independent panel created to monitor national election threats, which told lawmakers last week that China's alleged influence didn't threaten Canada's free and fair election in 2021.[3]
    • Opposition parties have called for an independent public inquiry into the matter, a power that the rapporteur — to be named in the coming days — will be able to recommend.[4]
    • Last month, Canada also banned the use of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok on government-issued devices amid concerns over privacy and security risks. In response to the latest news, China has called the allegations "baseless and defamatory," claiming it's "not interested" in influencing Canada's internal affairs.[5]


    Right narrative

    Trudeau's appointment of an "independent" special rapporteur is nothing more than an attempt to buy more time. There's no obligation for the prime minister to act on any recommendations, and the decision takes the pressure off Trudeau for the weeks to come. Having repeatedly attempted to shrug off the issue, this move is nothing but damage control instead of objective action — unsurprising, considering Trudeau's liberal government stood to benefit the most from China's alleged interference.

    Left narrative

    The ultimate question for Trudeau is whether he has done or will do everything he can to maintain trust in Canadian democracy. Appointing an independent investigator is a step in this direction. While it's fair to ask whether the government has so far responded correctly — just as it's fair to question the credibility of the media reports — using obscure data to make allegations of a government coverup is unacceptable.

    Pro-China narrative

    Trudeau's popularity is on the decline, and this has led to the common Western practice of summoning imaginary accusations against China to divert the public's attention from Canada's own failings. The "China interference" claims are absurd — as are Trudeau's investigations — and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Political split



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