A look at the players involved in federal efforts to address foreign interference
OTTAWA — Canada's major political parties have accepted the results of the 2019 and 2021 election and a panel of bureaucrats has determined both elections remained free and fair, an assessment that national security agencies agree with.
Despite this, attempts at foreign interference — mainly by China — have emerged in recent media reports, resulting in calls for more transparency about how the government deals with the issue.
Here's a look at the organizations and individuals involved in the federal effort to address foreign interference:
NSICOP: The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has been asked to assess the state of foreign interference in federal electoral processes, including meddling attempts in the last two general elections. Its findings will be presented to Parliament.
NSIRA: The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, an independent, external review body, has been urged to review how Canada’s national security agencies handled the threat of foreign interference during the last two elections, specifically around the flow of information from national security agencies to decision-makers. Its findings will also be reported to Parliament.
Special rapporteur: The government will appoint "an eminent Canadian" with a broad mandate on the issue. The independent rapporteur will be responsible for informing the work of NSIRA and NSICOP and any other existing processes and investigations that may be carried out by bodies like Canada’s Commissioner of Elections. The rapporteur will make public recommendations, which could include a formal inquiry or some other independent review process, and the government will abide by the recommendation.
National Counter Foreign Interference Co-ordinator: This new position is to be based at Public Safety Canada to steer efforts to combat foreign interference.
Foreign Influence Transparency Registry: Consultations will soon begin on creation of a registry to ensure transparency and accountability from people who advocate on behalf of a foreign government and to ensure communities often targeted by attempts at foreign interference are protected.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2023.
The Canadian Press