Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated on Monday that he will select a special investigator to determine if there should be an investigation into allegations of Chinese interference in Canada’s elections.
A Parliament national security committee will also reportedly probe sensitive information on the matter.
Referencing unnamed intelligence sources, The Globe and Mail claimed last month that the People’s Republic of China hoped to see Trudeau’s Liberals hold power in the 2021 election and attempted to take down Conservative politicians considered a nuisance to Beijing.
There are multiple reports of Beijing interfering in Canada's 2019 and 2021 federal elections@RmdKenny Chiu is one of the former Conservative MPs who was allegedly targeted by Chinese misinformation & interference
We ask him what's at stake for Canada's security pic.twitter.com/Ks8qQKii4U
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) February 26, 2023
Opposition parties in the nation have called for a full public inquiry on the matter, with Trudeau declining to do so. Instead, the prime minister is now choosing what he claims is an ‘independent’ special rapporteur to dictate whether or not the investigation is necessary.
“We will ask the independent special rapporteur, as one of the first tasks of their mandate, to provide the government with a recommendation as to what the appropriate next step be — whether it be an inquiry, an investigation or a judicial review — and what the scope of that work may be,” stated Trudeau.
The prime minister asserted that “all political leaders agree that the election outcomes in 2019, and in 2021, were not impacted by foreign interference. But even if it didn’t change the results of our elections, any interference attempt, by any foreign actor, is troubling and serious.”
Opposition Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre vocalized his opposition to the involvement of a Parliament committee, arguing it would inevitably lead to officials showing opposition lawmakers “some information and then swear them to secrecy so they could never speak about it again. So effectively, that would be a trick to try and prevent anyone debating the subject.”
Trudeau is known to be a fan of China, as was seen in a Nov. 2013 town hall in which the then-Liberal Party leader was asked which nation’s administration he admired most other than Canada.
“There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China,” answered Trudeau. “Because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and saying ‘We need to go greenest fastest, we need to start, you know, investing in solar.’”
The Canadian prime minister continued to fawn over China’s absolute power over its citizens, saying, “There is a flexibility that I know [former Conservative Prime Minister] Stephen Harper must dream about having a dictatorship where he can do everything he wanted, that I find quite interesting.”
Well, there is his sense of admiration for China. I suppose that came with some donation to the trudeau foundation… I'm sure that's all cool, though. pic.twitter.com/aFc5VZynfN
— Dex Didderwell (@didderwell) March 2, 2023
According to McGill University political science professor Daniel Béland, Trudeau’s decision to find a special investigator for the Chinese controversy is merely an attempt to buy time.
“The fact that he didn’t rule out a potential special public inquiry suggests this is now a real possibility, even if such an inquiry would appear as a politically risky Pandora’s box for Trudeau’s Liberals,” Béland charged.
“It really depends on what will be discovered in the following weeks and months but the entire situation is turning into a major political challenge for the Liberals that’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.”