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Trudeau Dodges Pressure to Out and Punish Lawmakers Aiding Foreign Interference

by John Hayward

Three days after the release of a bombshell report that accused some lawmakers of “wittingly assisting foreign state actors” in their efforts to control domestic politics, the Canadian government has offered no firm answer on whether politicians who acted as agents of foreign powers would be permitted to run for office again or not.

Pierre Poilievre, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, said on Wednesday that the public deserves to know the names of the MPs described in the heavily redacted report.

“The national security committee indicates there are members of this House who have knowingly worked for foreign hostile governments. Canadians have a right to know who and what is the information. Who are they?” Poilievre said.

“I can’t believe the following needs to be said. Parliamentarians’ duty is not to a foreign state but to the people of Canada. Will the prime minister release the names of these parliamentarians?” said Conservative MP Michael Chong, who is one of Canada’s highest-profile examples of foreign election interference, as he was vigorously targeted by the Chinese Communist Party for calling attention to the Uyghur genocide.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc responded that it would be “inappropriate” to release information that is classified or not fully vetted.

“The leader of the opposition knows very well no government, including the government [of] which he was a member, is going to discuss particularities of intelligence information publicly. So he knows better than that,” LeBlanc said.

The public safety minister suggested Poilievre obtain a security clearance so he can see the redacted material, completely – and probably willfully – missing Poilievre’s point that the public needs to know if their lawmakers have colluded with foreign powers, some of them extremely hostile to Canada.

“He would be much more informed than he is now and we would invite him to do so, so he wouldn’t stand up and cast aspersions on the floor of the House of Commons without any information whatsoever,” LeBlanc said contemptuously of Poilievre.

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