Globe & Mail: MPs from all parties urge government to set up foreign agent registry

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who has been targeted by Beijing for her criticism of China’s human-rights abuses, said the government needs to get the foreign agent registry up and running before the election expected next year.

The proposed registry has been opposed by some within the Chinese-Canadian community. Independent Senator Yuen Pau Woo, appointed to the upper house by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, has argued that a foreign-influence registry could do more harm than good and could infringe on Canadians’ Charter rights.

Ms. Kwan accused Mr. Woo of promoting disinformation.

“This registry will protect everyone. It doesn’t matter what community you come from,” Ms. Kwan said. “We want every single Canadian to be protected. Without this registry that means those vulnerable communities could be targeted.”

Marcus Kolga, president of the Central and Eastern European Council in Canada, said we already have laws requiring lobbyists to register when they try to influence the government, so “shouldn’t we demand transparency from those who advance the aims of foreign regimes, specifically those like Russia, China, Iran and others.”

The registry will shine a light in the shadows where former diplomats, politicians, government officials and academics are paid to work on behalf of authoritarian regimes, Mr. Kolga said.


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