Globe & Mail: Foreign interference a 'stain' on Canada's electoral process, Hogue inquiry concludes

Globe & Mail: Foreign interference a 'stain' on Canada's electoral process, Hogue inquiry concludes

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who CSIS said has been targeted by Beijing, said Ottawa must do more to protect Chinese-Canadians from intimidation and disinformation practices during election campaigns.

Ms. Kwan said she hopes Justice Hogue will recommend that election monitoring be removed from the hands of senior civil servants who answer to the prime minister.

“The report noted there is an systemic failure of communications by the government to those who are targeted or impacted by foreign-interference actors,” she said. “I strongly believe what we need is one independent agency to be mandated as the lead to take on this work.”

She also said Justice Hogue needs to hold Mr. Trudeau and his top aides to account in the final report on how his government handled CSIS intelligence that warned about China state interference and disinformation efforts.

National Post: Foreign interference inquiry issues report; finds 'tainted' elections and candidates undermined

National Post: Foreign interference inquiry issues report; finds 'tainted' elections and candidates undermined

OTTAWA – Chinese international students may have received “veiled threats” from the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) consulate and been provided with falsified documents to allow them to vote for Liberal candidate Han Dong’s nomination ahead of the 2019 election, according to a new report.

That’s one example of riding-level foreign interference that “tainted” the 2019 and 2021 federal elections but ultimately did not affect the overall results or the integrity of Canada’s electoral system, according to a first report by the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference published Friday.

The Liberals undoubtedly won the last two elections, Hogue said, and the country’s voting system has been strong and secure.

But the commissioner had “no difficulty” concluding that there was foreign interference in certain ridings that likely impacted at least one nomination race and potentially undermined certain candidates viewed unfavourably by the Chinese government.

“Although the election result at a national level was not impacted, and only a few races were potentially impacted at a riding level, I nevertheless conclude that foreign interference impacted the overall election ecosystem in 2019 and 2021,” Hogue wrote.

That’s one example of riding-level foreign interference that “tainted” the 2019 and 2021 federal elections but ultimately did not affect the overall results or the integrity of Canada’s electoral system, according to a first report by the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference published Friday.

The Liberals undoubtedly won the last two elections, Hogue said, and the country’s voting system has been strong and secure.

But the commissioner had “no difficulty” concluding that there was foreign interference in certain ridings that likely impacted at least one nomination race and potentially undermined certain candidates viewed unfavourably by the Chinese government.

“Although the election result at a national level was not impacted, and only a few races were potentially impacted at a riding level, I nevertheless conclude that foreign interference impacted the overall election ecosystem in 2019 and 2021,” Hogue wrote.

National Post: 'Long overdue': MPs from all parties call on government to bring in foreign agent registry

National Post: 'Long overdue': MPs from all parties call on government to bring in foreign agent registry

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who has been a target of foreign interference, said the government should bring this legislation to help diaspora groups and politicians like herself.

“It is time, in fact, it is long overdue. What we do know is that the government said they will do it and they said, in fact, last year that they would introduce this legislation,” she said.

 

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters Tuesday there are many things that need to be addressed, including a foreign agent registry, CSIS reform and the ongoing work of the foreign interference commission.

He said legislation to create the registry would be coming soon.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to strengthen legislation with respect to foreign interference,” he said.

The coalition’s call for a foreign agent registry came on the same day as former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu testified about misinformation that he believed played a role in his defeat in 2021.

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

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.

 

City TV: Concerns raised about rising cost of rentals for low-income earners: Vancouver MP

City TV: Concerns raised about rising cost of rentals for low-income earners: Vancouver MP

A Vancouver NDP MP is sounding the alarm when it comes to rent-geared-to-income housing units, saying incoming changes by the federal government will lead to a severe shortage within the affordable housing market in this country.

Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan says she’s learned that as of March 31, 2028, Ottawa will be cutting subsidy funding to non-profits that operate buildings that include units for those on a fixed income. Once those suites are vacated, she says the price of those units will be bumped to market rates.

For example, a rental suite that’s going for $650 right now could be increased to $1,800 or more.

Kwan adds these changes are happening right now at some buildings in Metro Vancouver as non-profits try to bank money to prepare for their funding to be slashed in the future.

 

Open Letter: Loss of Thousands Rent Geared to Income Subsided Units

Open Letter: Loss of Thousands Rent Geared to Income Subsided Units

Recently non-profits have been advised an Amending Agreement for some of those projects would come into effect on June 29, 2024, whereby Rent-Geared-Income (RGI) units will need to revert to market rent as soon as turnover of the existing tenant occurs as the subsidies for those units will not be renewed beyond 2028. It further stipulates that this conversion will be permanent. What this means is that Canada will permanently lose thousands of RGI units for low-income residents. This is in addition to the loss of 370,000 affordable units under the Liberal government’s watch and another 800,000 units under the Conservative’s watch.

 

This poses a significant risk to thousands of Canadians, especially Indigenous communities which are already overrepresented in homelessness and housing need. The non-market housing sector plays a crucial role in communities across Canada, offering not just shelter but stability, security, and a sense of community for its residents. Canada is already faced with a housing crisis. It is widely recognized that for every affordable housing unit built, 11 will be lost. Without the continuation of these subsidies, homelessness will be further exacerbated.

 

Canadian Press: RCMP still probing alleged meddling in federal elections

Canadian Press: RCMP still probing alleged meddling in federal elections

The hearings are part of the inquiry's examination of possible meddling by China, India, Russia and others in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Deputy RCMP commissioner Mark Flynn provided few other details about the ongoing probes, but indicated to reporters that some of the leads emerged through individuals “speaking about their own experiences very publicly,” including in the House of Commons.

Former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, Conservative MP Michael Chong and New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan have all been identified publicly as possible targets of foreign interference by China.

In a classified February interview with the inquiry, Duheme said the RCMP did not open any foreign interference-related criminal investigations during the last two general elections.

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