Officials split on when to report interference allegations to public, Rosenberg says

OTTAWA — The man who wrote a report that recommends a lower threshold for notifying Canadians about foreign interference says there's no consensus about what that threshold should be.

Former civil servant Morris Rosenberg urged further study on lowering the bar so the public gets more information about potential threats.

The level of disclosure provided by security officials about election meddling is under more scrutiny after recent media reports detailing alleged interference by China in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

Rosenberg says there is no consensus among politicians or security officials about how much information should be made public, in part because even notifying people about a potential threat could have an affect on election results.

He says it is also difficult for security officials to figure out where interference is coming from, and if foreign governments are using domestic proxies.

Rosenberg's report examined the work of a panel of civil servants who oversaw the most recent vote, and found there was no interference that threatened the ability to have a free and fair election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press