China interfered in polls won by Trudeau's party: Canada's intel agency
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China interfered in polls won by Trudeau's party: Canada's intel agency

Canada's intelligence agency has found that China interfered in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian elections, which were won by Justin Trudeau's party, according to Reuters. The strategic interference by Beijing was to support candidates perceived to be pro-China, the Canadian report said.

Canada's national intelligence agency has disclosed findings, suggesting that China interfered in the country's 2019 and 2021 elections. The Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, emerged victorious in both the elections.

Amid concerns raised by opposition legislators regarding potential Chinese involvement, Trudeau initiated a commission to probe foreign interference.

The findings that China interfered with Canada's election process are from the official investigation, news agency Reuters reported.

During Monday's session, the commission reviewed a presentation slide featuring an excerpt from a February 2023 briefing by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

"We know that the People's Republic of China (PRC) clandestinely and deceptively interfered in both the 2019 and 2021 elections," according to the slide, reported Reuters.

The interference was described as strategic, aiming to support candidates perceived as "pro-PRC" or "neutral" on issues concerning the Chinese government. PRC stands for People's Republic of China.

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China interfered in polls won by Trudeau's party: Canada's intel agency

While Global News had previously reported the existence of this assessment, China denied any involvement in Canadian politics.

Erin O'Toole, former leader of the Conservative Party during the 2021 campaign, alleged that Chinese interference may have cost his party up to nine seats, although it did not affect the election's outcome.

"State actors are able to conduct foreign interference successfully in Canada because there are few legal or political consequences. FI is therefore low-risk and high-reward," said the CSIS assessment.

Critics, including intelligence analysts and members of the Conservative Party, argue that Trudeau's administration has not adequately addressed Chinese interference.

Trudeau is slated to testify before the commission on Wednesday.

During the 2021 campaign, the Conservatives condemned Beijing's treatment of the Uyghur minority and pledged to ban Huawei from the 5G network.

A legislator from the New Democratic Party, known for its left-leaning stance, recounted facing repercussions for criticising Beijing's policies, noting a decline in invitations to events hosted by the influential ethnic Chinese community.

Canada is home to approximately 1.7 million people of Chinese descent, comprising nearly 5% of the total population, according to Reuters.

As of the report, the Chinese embassy has yet to respond to the CSIS's statement.

In 2023, Canada revealed that a Conservative legislator with ties to Hong Kong had been targeted in an online disinformation campaign, resulting in the suspension of a senior Chinese diplomat

Source: India Today

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