Canada begins consultations to establish foreign agent registry following reports of Chinese interference in elections

Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced the start of consultations on the formation of a registry of foreign agents amid reports of Chinese interference in the elections. His words are quoted by AFP.

“We are at a critical juncture when it comes to the security of our democratic institutions. And now we are taking another step to protect them. Today, I am announcing the start of consultations to determine the timing of the creation of a register of foreign influence in Canada,” the minister said.

According to Mr. Mendicino, the register “will soften the actions of foreign states that go beyond legitimate diplomacy in an attempt to deceitfully manipulate Canada’s open democracy, economy and society.” Similar registries already exist in the US and Australia.

February 17 newspaper The Globe and Mail citing data from the Canadian Intelligence and Security Service, said that China tried to influence the country’s elections in 2019 and 2021. The publication wrote that Beijing, in particular, worked to ensure that candidates from conservative parties did not achieve successful results in the elections.

On March 7, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of a special rapporteur who will advise local authorities on combating foreign interference in the country’s domestic politics. At the same time, he stated that the local authorities have no direct evidence of the interference of Chinese diplomats or agents of influence of the PRC in the elections.

Milena Kostereva


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