Response from the Office of the Prime Minister to CPAC’s Open Letter
Dear Mr. Wang:
I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence.
Canadians of Chinese heritage have greatly contributed to Canada. Anti-Asian racism has no place in Canada. The Prime Minister has strongly condemned the racism, violence, and hate Asian communities in Canada are facing, and will continue to do so.
Safeguarding Canada’s democracy is a vital and non-partisan issue, one that our government takes very seriously. To uphold the integrity of our elections, we established our Plan to Protect Democracy, which includes the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (Protocol). Through the Protocol, an independent panel comprising of senior public servants, and informed by the work of our national security agencies, monitor attempted election interference. They are mandated to notify Canadians in the event of a threat to the integrity of a General Election. The panels in both the 2019 and 2021 elections concluded that while there were attempts at foreign interference, the elections were free and fair.
We will never tolerate foreign interference. That is why Minister Mendicino launched consultations on a Canadian Foreign Influence Transparency Registry, to ensure transparency and accountability from the people who advocate on behalf of a foreign government, while also protecting communities that are targeted by attempts at foreign interference. These consultations are open to the public, and all Canadians are encouraged to share their views through the consultation web page until May 9, 2023.
As the Prime Minister announced on March 6, 2023, two national security bodies will review foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th federal elections: the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA).
In 2017, our government established NSICOP, which is comprised of Members of Parliament from each party and Senators with top-secret security clearance. NSIOP is well-positioned to review foreign interference attempts and the potential effects on Canada’s institutions. Likewise, NSIRA will undertake a review of how the threat of foreign interference was handled by Canada’s national security agencies during the 43rd and 44th federal elections.
Our government is taking further action by naming the Right Honourable David Johnston as Independent Special Rapporteur on Foreign Interference. In this role, he will review Canada’s national security oversight structure and provide recommendations on any further actions needed. He will also advise if there are any other mechanisms or processes necessary to answer any outstanding questions, which could include a formal public inquiry. We will abide by his recommendations.
Together, these actions will provide the government and Canadians with a better understanding of attempts of foreign interference in the last two federal elections. We will continue to strengthen Canadian infrastructure and democracy and protect Canadian citizens against foreign interference.
Thank you for taking the time to write. Please accept my warmest regards.
Senior Manager, Prime Minister’s Correspondence
Office of the Prime Minister