Unnamed politicians accused of foreign collusion may remain eligible for re-election

It is not known whether the identities of the alleged colluders will be revealed or if they will be able to run for re-election since parliamentarians are bound by Canada’s official secrets law.

Unnamed politicians accused of foreign collusion may remain eligible for re-election
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby (left) and THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand (right)
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Federal politicians accused of colluding with foreign states could remain eligible in upcoming elections.

A report by the federal National Security Committee of Parliamentarians on Monday showed multiple federal politicians knowingly participated in foreign interference schemes, as questions arose as to whether those politicians would be named and if they would be eligible for office in future.

Thus far, the Liberals have refused to release the names. On Wednesday they would not provide an answer as to whether or not the accused politicians would be able to run again.

Committee chair Liberal MP David McGuinty said he is not in a position to say whether the still-unidentified politicians would be allowed to run with their respective parties.

McGuinty stated the members of the committee of parliamentarians — which includes representatives from all parties as well as senators — are bound by Canada’s official secrets law.

“That means if they inadvertently reveal information, they can be prosecuted…. The committee’s hands are tied,” McGuinty said on Wednesday.

The latest an election can be called is October 2025.

The report has sparked a wave of speculation and concern in Parliament, with all opposition parties calling for action.

The security committee report released on Monday outlined several activities involving parliamentarians allegedly colluding with countries such as China and India. These activities include revealing state secrets and accepting money or favours from diplomats.

One accusation involves a parliamentarian allegedly passing on confidential government information to a "known intelligence officer of a foreign state."

“If someone has actively co-operated … who had a relationship with a foreign agent, that person should be named in the shorter term and fuller allegations should be laid out and we should have due process,” Toronto Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said, reports Global News.

An internal follow-up will take place, said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. No details were given as to what that would involve. Freeland refused to take questions about the matter.

Unlike in other Five Eyes countries, the committee reports directly to the prime minister rather than Parliament. The Prime Minister's Office can redact parts of its reports that officials believe could jeopardize national security if they are made public.

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