2019 Election: No Evidence of Interference Warranted Investigation, RCMP Say

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2019 Election: No Evidence of Interference Warranted Investigation, RCMP Say

RCMP Commissioner claims an investigation is underway into foreign interference in the country, but refuses to provide documents.

Brenda Lucki, Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Commissioner of the Mounted Police Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Brenda Lucki, says that police force had no evidence of foreign government interference in the 2019 federal election and was not investigating at that time. there on criminal activities related to this election.

However, in a letter to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, quoted by The Globe and Mail and obtained by CBC News, Ms. Lucki acknowledges that the RCMP is now investigating foreign interference activities in Canada.

She refused to provide the committee with redacted documents on the content of these surveys.

At a meeting held on November 14, the Committee passed a motion that requires federal government departments and agencies to produce redacted documents on foreign interference in the 2019 federal election.

This decision was taken following an article by the Global News channel which revealed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January 2022 of China's efforts to x27;interfere in this ballot. The interference allegedly included the hidden funding by the Chinese government of at least 11 candidates for these elections.

However, in the letter addressed to the Committee, dated of November 25, Brenda Lucki said that the RCMP had no evidence of these activities at the time without specifying if the federal police were now investigating these activities.

“In the context of the 2019 federal election, the RCMP did not conduct a criminal investigation into election-related activity as there was no evidence at the time.

— Brenda Lucki, Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

However, she adds, the RCMP is aware of the interference of foreign actors with respect to a wide range of activities, including interference in democratic processes.

With respect to these files, Mr. Lucki stated that the RCMP could not provide the Committee with documents on its ongoing investigations, as this could jeopardize their progress.

Stating that she does not take these activities lightly, the RCMP Commissioner noted that investigations into interference by foreign actors are among the RCMP's most sensitive national security files and that ;it must therefore do everything possible to protect the integrity of these investigations.

During a scrum with reporters in the House of Commons on Tuesday , Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not comment specifically on Brenda Lucki's letter to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

All of our organizations and agencies, including the RCMP, will continue to do their job to keep Canadians safe and make decisions consistent with their responsibilities, the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Trudeau also added that he never received the alleged briefings and memos from CSIS, as claimed by Global News.

“I want to make it clear that I have no information and have not been informed that a federal candidate has received money from China.

— Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

The Chinese government, for its part, has denied any allegations of interference in the Canadian elections. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijan said earlier this month that China has no interest in Canada's internal affairs.

The Trudeau government recently unveiled its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which includes a plan to deal with an increasingly disruptive China.

Leader of the Official Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, criticized the Prime Minister for bypassing the heart of his questions.

Mr. Trudeau repeated that experts confirmed that the integrity of the election was not compromised and that he had never received information on any candidate who had received funds from China.

Of course, the money doesn't travel on a big boat across the Pacific to the shore and on its way to a candidate, Mr. Poilievre quipped.

“The question is [whether or not] the Prime Minister has received information […] about any interference by Beijing in our elections. »

— Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Official Opposition

Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet asked Mr. Trudeau to indicate which candidates might have been targeted by interference tactics from China.

RCMP boss says they didn't have to investigate but now they are investigating . […] To protect democracy and trust in institutions, shouldn't the Prime Minister reveal which constituencies these are?

Mr. Trudeau then retorted that he had heard of no funds received by electoral candidates, either directly or indirectly.

Questioned in point release on the content of Commissioner Lucki's letter, New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh responded that any form of interference in our democracy in Canada must be taken very seriously.

With information from La Presse canadienne

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