The Privy Council Clerk and her deputy told the Public Order Commission elections were safe from foreign meddling.
The summaries of PCO Clerk Janice Charette and her Deputy Nathalie Drouin with lawyers for the POEC reiterated the duo's confidence in repelling foreign influence in the 2021 election. A CSIS whistleblower claims up to 11 ridings, including that of Liberal MP Han Dong, were the subject of a Chinese sway campaign.
The same whistleblower asserts senior Liberal Party operatives were informed of the Chinese manipulation to ensure Dong won his nomination to be a candidate for the party in 2019. Still, his candidacy was greenlit by Trudeau anyway.
According to POEC documents, in the view of Charette, Chinese or even Russian foreign agents were not a concern. Rather, Republicans supportive of the anti-vaccine mandate Freedom Convoy were part of a foreign disinformation campaign.
Ms. Charette recalled that social media played a significant role in mobilizing protestors. Misinformation and disinformation were feeding the phenomenon and being amplified, not just on the domestic side but also internationally including by high profile US politicians. Ms. Charette tasked the NSIA and her staff to develop informal tools for social media monitoring.
Ms. Charette noted that PCO previously recognized the need to address this issue during the 2021 federal election, during which the PM and candidates from all parties received a heightened amount of violent threats, including online. Ms. Drouin remarked that although Canada is well equipped to respond to online foreign interference in the electoral context, this is not the case for the monitoring of domestic media. She noted this was an especially difficult area for policy and regulation.
To address what the bureaucrats saw as "amplification" of messaging from supportive Americans, a panel proposed "social media monitoring, the regulation of misinformation, disinformation, and violent online rhetoric, and strengthening Canada’s toolkit around foreign interference."