Most Canadians want Trudeau to disclose MPs, Senators accused of foreign meddling, says poll

A recent Leger survey found the overwhelming majority of Conservative (84%) and Liberal supporters (78%) want to know which parliamentarians colluded with foreign states in recent elections. Cabinet has yet to disclose names publicly.

Most Canadians want Trudeau to disclose MPs, Senators accused of foreign meddling, says poll
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The vast majority of Canadians want Parliamentarians complicit in foreign meddling to have their names publicly disclosed, according to recent polling.

A recent Leger survey found the overwhelming majority of Conservative (84%) and Liberal supporters (78%) disagree with the Trudeau government remaining hush on the matter. 

A June 3 report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) found some parliamentarians were “semi-witting or witting” participants in alleged clandestine operations by foreigners.

China is the “most prolific actor” in clandestine operations, said the report.

Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, who oversees the independent inquiry into foreign meddling, also identified China as the “most persistent and sophisticated foreign-interference threat” to Canada.

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

Reporters have repeatedly asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say which 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 reiterated 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.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh earlier claimed no members from his caucus were complicit. Whereas Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchett promised swift action against his caucus for any involvement with foreign dignitaries.

The Official Opposition in particular has urged the Trudeau government to disclose the names of parliamentarians allegedly involved in foreign collusion. They faced swift pushback from cabinet.

The Leger poll says three in ten (31%) Canadians believe foreign meddling has greatly undermined election results. Another 41% believe interference had limited impacts. 

Justice Hogue said foreigners undermined the electoral process in a small number of ridings during the 2019 and 2021 general elections.

More than half (52%) of Canadians say foreign governments have interfered “significantly” in recent elections, an Ipsos poll found. One-third of Canadians also lack confidence in the effectiveness of the independent inquiry, it reads.

Conservative voters are more likely (46%) to believe countries like China pose a significant threat to electoral integrity, followed by the Bloc Québécois (29%), Green (27%), NDP (23%), and Liberals (20%).

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, a target of foreign interference, has also advocated for public disclosure but to no avail.

MPs voted to refer the matter to the Foreign Interference Commission for further study. The commission is currently investigating allegations of China’s interference in 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

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