HANSARD: Will the Prime Minister take action on Don Valley North now?

Debates of May 7th, 2024
House of Commons Hansard #310 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Democratic Institutions
Oral Questions

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC
NDP

Mr. Speaker, during the inquiry, concerns around the participation of busloads of Chinese foreign students and falsified documents for the Don Valley North nomination came to light. The commissioner noted that Chinese foreign interference activities could have made a difference as to who was nominated in Don Valley North. The Chinese media reported that the nomination was won by 14 votes.

The Prime Minister cannot continue to pretend there is nothing to see here. Based on the damning findings, what action will the Prime Minister take now?

 

Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Public Safety
Liberal

Mr. Speaker, far from not taking this matter seriously, our government has done the exact opposite. Our colleague knows well that we have put in place a series of measures now, over a number of years, to deal with the very real threat that she identified of the Chinese government seeking to interfere in the democratic process in Canada. All political parties, and not just at the federal level, face this threat. That is why yesterday, for example, we introduced important legislation in the House. We look forward to working with colleagues to hopefully pass it quickly.

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2024/5/7/jenny-kwan-1/

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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