EDITORIAL: Foreign interference responses required

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Given the urgent need for a public inquiry into China’s foreign interference in Canada’s democratic institutions, what issues should be addressed?

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Here are some of the obvious areas that Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) – founded by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – told him four years ago needed to be investigated; Findings and recommendations that Trudeau ignored.

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First, the six major government organizations that deal with foreign intelligence issues — CSIS, RCMP, Privy Council Office, Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada, and Communications Security Establishment — “show significant differences in how (they) interpret severity and.” Determine the spread of the threat and prioritize their resources.”

Second, for this reason, the “coordination and cooperation” between these agencies in countering foreign interference is “case-specific and ad hoc” and focused on “specific activities rather than patterns of behavior,” as opposed to “overall government.” ” Approach to combating foreign interference.

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Third, in dealing with foreign interference, the government has placed an emphasis on short-term interests, such as its impact on foreign policy and our relationships with other countries, as opposed to longer-term considerations such as threats to Canadian rights and freedoms and Canadian sovereignty.

Fourth: “With the exception of CSIS outreach activities, government interaction with sub-national levels of government and civilian levels, despite the fact that there is at all levels of government – ​​federal, provincial, local and indigenous, including politicians and officials – foreign interference exists.” Society’s involvement in combating foreign interference is “minimal”.

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Fifth, the federal government has “no public foreign interference strategy … similar to those developed for terrorism or cybersecurity.”

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Sixth, despite the fact that “targeting and manipulation of ethnocultural communities is the primary means by which these states control embassies and attempt to influence decision-making at all levels of government” by using “threats, harassment, the imprisonment of family members in the… abroad and the refusal to do so”. issue travel documents or visas…those targeted do not know whether to contact CSIS, the RCMP, or the Metropolitan Police and…rarely receive a coherent response from officers.”

Trudeau is still waiting to hear from David Johnston, the “independent special rapporteur” — translated: an advisor — whom he appointed on March 15 to advise him on whether a public inquiry is needed. His deadline ends on May 23.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-answers-needed-on-foreign-interference EDITORIAL: Foreign interference responses required


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