If there has been Russian interference in the last two federal elections, Canada intends to shed full light on this affair. To that end, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a set of measures, including the appointment of an independent special rapporteur. He will be appointed in the coming days and will have the task of "formulating specialized recommendations on the protection of our democracy".
One of the first tasks of the special rapporteur will be to advise the government on the next steps to take, including a possible public inquiry. "Whether it's an investigation or a judicial review, we will comply with their recommendation," Justin Trudeau said, calling the attempted interference "troubling" and "serious."
The prime minister has also instructed MPs and senators on the parliamentary committee on national security and intelligence to launch a new specialized investigation into foreign interference in the elections. The committee had already presented a report on the subject in 2019, calling on the government to do more.
Meanwhile, the body overseeing Canada's intelligence services has been called upon to examine how Canada's national security agencies have handled the threat of election interference.
"Any attack or attempted attack on our democracy is unacceptable," said Justin Trudeau, pointing out that "the Chinese government and other regimes like Iran and Russia have attempted to interfere not only in our democracy, but in our country in general". "This problem is not new," he added.
This announcement comes as opposition parties have been calling for an independent public inquiry into this issue for several days. In recent weeks, a series of articles in Canadian media based on intelligence leaks have detailed alleged attempts by Beijing to interfere in the last two federal elections.
These include secret funding or involvement in the campaign of certain candidates in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. Allegations "firmly" denounced by the Chinese authorities, calling them "defamatory". Last week, an independent report acknowledged that there had been attempts to interfere but that they had not affected the outcome of the election.
Earlier Monday, federal police announced they had opened an investigation into how this information was leaked to Canadian media.