Bloc MPs will ’pay the price’ if implicated in foreign interference, party leader says

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet finds the lack of discretion on MP spies perplexing. He committed to swift punishment for any Bloc MPs implicated in foreign meddling.

Bloc MPs will ’pay the price’ if implicated in foreign interference, party leader says
The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
Remove Ads

Any member of the Bloc Québécois caucus implicated in foreign interference will “pay the price,” said the party leader. “That’s the only thing I need to know,” Yves-François Blanchet told reporters Tuesday.

He said Parliament can ill-afford to be under the influence of foreign, hostile powers.

A June 4 report, Special Report on Foreign Interference in Canada's Democratic Processes and Institutions, revealed that MPs leaked confidential information to foreign officials in exchange for secret payments.

It also said a former MP maintained relations with a foreign intelligence officer and sought a meeting with that officer while in a foreign country.

As of writing, Blanchet is in the process of obtaining security clearance to read the redacted version.

Foreign Interference named China as the “most prolific actor” in clandestine operations.

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), which authored the report, is an independent, high-level review body of Canada’s national security and intelligence organization composed of lawmakers from all major parties. Its members are bound to secrecy under the Security of Information Act

MPs and senators increasingly want the culprits to be unmasked and expelled, reports Blacklock’s Reporter. However, party leaders have so far refused to disclose names. 

Reporters have repeatedly asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as of late to release which elected officials were implicated in foreign interference. He has yet to fulfill that request.

“The issue of foreign interference is one that this government has taken incredibly seriously,” he reiterates incessantly. 

“Are there any MPs in your caucus that are named in the NSICOP report to be wittingly or semi-wittingly participants in foreign interference?” asked a reporter. “We brought in the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians over the objections of the Conservative Party and indeed the strenuous resistance of the Harper government for years,” Trudeau deflected.

NSICOP examined roughly 4,000 documents totalling more than 33,000 pages, briefings from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the RCMP, and interviews with people including the prime minister.

Bloc Leader Blanchet found the lack of discretion perplexing and is reluctant to meet-up with other party leaders for future discussions on the matter.

On Tuesday, Blanchet said he refuses the path of other opposition parties — he intends to speak publicly after viewing the report.

As of writing, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has yet to obtain sufficient security clearance to view the report.

The last time a parliamentarian was convicted of espionage was in 1947 with the jailing of MP Fred Rose as a Soviet agent. He served six years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act.

A second Communist MP, Dorise Nielsen, lost re-election in 1945 but remained under RCMP surveillance until she defected to China.

“The issue of foreign interference is one that this government has taken extremely seriously,” Trudeau previously said. 

“We have also called a number of different reports, including an ongoing report on foreign interference, that is, that we are working with right now to see how they can follow up on the NSICOP report,” he added.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads