Foreign interference: investigations are underway, says RCMP commissioner

Emilie Bergeron, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Brenda Lucki confirms that investigations are underway into « interference activities by foreign actors » with a committee trying to shed light on what efforts may have made China to influence the 2019 general election.

In a letter dated Monday sent to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House of Commons Affairs, Ms. Lucki argues that information relating to investigations initiated cannot be disclosed under two sections of the access to information.

« Investigations into interference by foreign actors are among the most sensitive national security investigations the RCMP conducts today, and it must do everything possible to protect their integrity, » reads the statement. missive first unearthed by the « Globe and Mail ».

The Global Network reported, citing unnamed sources, earlier this month that the Prime Minister was tipped off in January of a wide-ranging alleged effort of Chinese interference in the 2019 election campaign, including by funds that allegedly been affected by at least 11 candidates.

“In the context of the 2019 federal election, the RCMP did not conduct criminal investigations into activities targeting these elections given that there was no justification for such investigations at the time,” Commissioner Lucki said in her letter. That said, the RCMP can confirm that it is currently investigating interference activities by foreign actors.”

This communication follows the adoption of a motion to extend a study already begun, in parliamentary committee, on foreign interference in order to investigate the allegations reported by Global.

Asked about the work of the RCMP, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made only a very brief comment. “We expect our security agencies, our intelligence services (and) our police services to do their job to ensure that Canadians are safe,” he said before going to a meeting. his council of ministers.

The RCMP Commissioner concluded her missive by stating that “the RCMP takes threats of this nature very seriously and will continue to use all means at its disposal (…) to combat interference by foreign actors”.

The Conservatives and Bloc Québécois continued to hound Mr. Trudeau, during Tuesday’s question period, on the file of the allegations concerning Beijing.

The Leader of the Official Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, criticized the Prime Minister for skirting the heart of his questions on this subject. Mr. Trudeau repeated that experts confirmed that the integrity of the election was not compromised and that he never received information that any candidate received funds from China.

« Obviously the money doesn’t travel on a big boat across the Pacific to the shore and get to a candidate, » Poilievre said. This is obviously the denial of an absurdity. The question is whether or not the Prime Minister has received any information (…) about any interference of any kind by Beijing in our elections.

Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet for his part asked Mr. Trudeau to indicate which candidates could have been targeted by Chinese interference tactics. “The RCMP boss says they didn’t have to investigate, but now they are investigating. (…), to protect democracy and trust in institutions, shouldn’t the Prime Minister reveal which constituencies these are?”

Mr. Trudeau then retorted that he had not heard of any funds received by electoral candidates, “directly or indirectly”.

Asked at a press briefing about the content of Commissioner Lucki’s letter, the leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, replied that “any form of interference in our democracy in Canada” must be taken “very seriously”.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous version of this text indicated that the letter was addressed to the elected officials of the Special Committee on the relationship between Canada and the People’s Republic of China. It’s actually addressed to the clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and Business Affairs.

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button