Jagmeet Singh says NDP won't trigger an election over foreign interference concerns

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OTTAWA — Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says New Democrats are not willing to trigger a federal election over rising concerns about foreign interference in recent federal elections.

Canada's democracy must be safeguarded, and holding another election now would leave voters with the same concerns being debated now, Singh told reporters on Thursday.

"My goal is to safeguard democracy, encourage people to participate, make sure people feel comfortable voting, and feel safe to vote and are not being influenced in their votes," Singh said.

"That goal is not met by triggering an election."

Singh said a public inquiry must be held immediately in order to clear the air about recent media reports that allege foreign interference by China in the past two federal elections.

Han Dong announced Wednesday night that he will now sit as an Independent while a rapporteur investigates claims of Chinese interference, including allegations that the Toronto MP willingly received electoral support through Chinese officials.

Both the NDP and the Bloc Québécois said Dong did the right thing by stepping down from the Liberal caucus.

The Bloc is also calling for a public inquiry, adding that Dong must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, a guarantee that every Canadian is granted.

"We need to respect that," said Bloc MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press