Globe: NDP MP Kwan calls on Parliament to identify MPs implicated in foreign interference

New Democratic MP Jenny Kwan called on the House of Commons Tuesday to find a way to publicly name the politicians identified in a secret report as being compromised by hostile foreign states, saying the revelations have left all parliamentarians under a cloud of suspicion.

Ms. Kwan raised a question of privilege in the Commons, telling Speaker Greg Fergus that the only way to stop MPs and senators from betraying their country is to disclose their names.

A report earlier this month from the National Security Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), an oversight body set up by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2017, revealed that some current and former parliamentarians have been unwittingly or wittingly collaborating with foreign states. NSICOP did not name the politicians in the redacted report released to the public.

“I believe we must find a way to disclose who are the MPs knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada’s democratic processes and institutions,” Ms. Kwan told the House.

Ms. Kwan, who the Canadian Security Intelligence Service last year revealed has been targeted by the Chinese government, argued that the matter should be referred to the Procedure and House affairs committee to figure out how to reveal the names without compromising national security.

“If there continues to be no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target,” she said.

As it stands, Ms. Kwan said all 338 MPs, including those who left the House, are “under a cloud of suspicion,” which, she added, means that “all members are tainted and that the reputation of the whole House is put in question.”

Since the NSICOP report largely identified China and India as the main players in foreign interference, Ms. Kwan said Chinese-Canadian or Indo-Canadian MPs are at “heightened risk of unjust reputational damage.”

“Revealing which members of Parliament, former or present, is a willing participant of foreign interference activities would not only have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour, it will send a clear message to those foreign states that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way,” Ms. Kwan said.


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