Trudeau Refuses to Name Canadian Lawmakers Found Aiding Foreign Collusion

Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, seen at the Canadian Signature Ceremony at Juno B
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trudeau administration on Monday bowed to growing pressure from opposition leaders and the public by supporting an investigation of Canadian lawmakers accused of colluding with foreign governments.

The administration still refused to name the accused lawmakers, however – information the opposition insists voters need so they can make informed decisions in the next election.

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) touched off a political firestorm on June 3 by producing a report that accused some lawmakers of “wittingly assisting foreign state actors,” including nakedly hostile powers like China, Russia, and Iran.

The report also elevated India to the status of a major interference threat, as the Indian government has been trying to influence Canada to take action against Sikh separatists living on its soil. A major diplomatic rift between Canada and India occurred in September 2023 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused the Indian government of murdering Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.

Foreign interference has been a growing concern in Canada for years, but the NSICOP report still managed to shock the political and media establishments with the number of accusations it contained and the uncomfortable details it provided. The report was heavily redacted to conceal the identities of the accused politicians and details that could jeopardize national security.

The report was also strongly critical of Trudeau and his administration for ignoring warnings about foreign collusion. Trudeau’s critics say his shocking negligence was an effort to protect his Liberal Party because many of the politicians who benefited from foreign money and political support were Liberals.

Trudeau and his top officials seemed to believe they could ride out the storm by insisting the report had to stay redacted for national security reasons and by vaguely promising they would take its allegations seriously without ever revealing the details to the public.

On Monday, that strategy appeared to crumble in the face of a motion from opposition lawmakers to refer NSICOP’s report to Justice Marie-Josee Hogue and her Foreign Interference Commission.

The Hogue Commission was established in September 2023 to investigate foreign meddling in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal elections. The commission has already held two public hearings as part of its investigation and is required to submit a final report by the end of this year. The commission released an interim report in May that said foreign meddling definitely took place, but did not undermine the overall integrity of the elections.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who has been taking point on the administration’s response to the foreign collusion report because Trudeau was out of the country when the scandal erupted, said on Monday that the Liberal Party will support what is likely to be a nearly unanimous vote on authorizing the Hogue Commission to investigate NSICOP’s findings.

“We agree with members of this House that the appropriate forum to look at these matters is the commission already set up and operating,” he said.

LeBlanc argued that “illegally announcing a list of names” would be irresponsible.

“I asked the Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Mark Flynn this morning what would happen if I announced the list of names like my colleagues are asking me to do, and he said I would be subject to criminal prosecution. So guess what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not going to do that,” he said during a parliamentary session.

LeBlanc had earlier invited opposition leaders to obtain security clearances if they wanted to view the unredacted NSICOP report. Several of them have done so, but Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre refused because he feels the information should be made public, not viewed by a small circle of party leaders who would then be bound to secrecy.

“If Canadians are to continue to have faith in their federal democratic institutions, they need to know who has broken their oath and betrayed their trust,” agreed Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said he would respect the promise of secrecy that came with the confidential briefing he has agreed to receive – but he also said he would not hesitate to eject any member of his party who “wittingly” participated in foreign collusion, so if a few NDP members get booted out right after Singh reads the unredacted report, it will not be hard for the public to figure out why.

Trudeau said on Monday he supported the motion introduced by the Bloc Quebecois to get the Hogue Commission involved, because “it’s extremely important we continue to take foreign interference with all the seriousness it requires.” The opposition would object to his cute phrasing, since a key element of the widening scandal is that Trudeau did not take foreign interference seriously.

The last few days have seen increasingly frank discussions among politicians and the press that some of the activity described in the NSICOP report could be labeled “treason.” Trudeau refused to answer when asked if he agreed with that label.


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