In a recent vote, members of the Liberal and New Democratic Party rejected a proposal that would have called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, to appear before a House of Commons committee. The motion was put forth by Conservative Party of Canada MP Michael Cooper, who aimed to question Telford regarding recent reports of alleged Chinese interference in Canada’s federal elections.
Cooper’s motion was prompted by a recent report from Global News that claimed internal Privacy Council documents showed that the prime minister’s staff, including Telford, was informed in 2017 of possible Chinese Communist Party involvement in Canadian politics. Despite Cooper’s request to have Telford testify, the motion was shot down by the opposing parties.
In response to the rejection, Cooper stated, “This is just an effort to cover up the facts.” He further added that it was important to hear from Telford to get to the bottom of the internal memo and determine the Prime Minister’s knowledge and actions regarding the alleged Chinese interference.
Reports indicate that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warned Trudeau about at least 11 candidates in the 2019 federal election being under the direct funding and influence of the CCP. There have also been claims that the CCP may have attempted to influence the outcome of the 2021 federal election through the spread of disinformation about the CPC. This has led to questions from CPC leader Pierre Poilievre regarding the integrity of Canada’s federal elections.
The issue of Chinese influence in Canadian politics is not new, especially considering Trudeau’s past admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship” and his government’s reluctance to label the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur population as a “genocide.” However, the recent reports of election meddling and the government’s unwillingness to address the scandal have further eroded the public’s trust in the government and the nation’s democratic system.
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