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March 1st, 2023

NDP moves motion for a national, public inquiry into foreign interference

OTTAWA — On Wednesday, at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC), NDP House Leader Peter Julian introduced a motion to launch a full public inquiry into disturbing reports of foreign interference in federal elections.

New Democrats want the inquiry to call ministers, former ministers, chiefs of staff to the prime minister and to the leader of the official opposition during the 2019 and 2021 federal election campaigns as well as both parties’ campaign directors so that Canadians have the answers they need and confidence in their institutions moving forward.

“The reports that have emerged about foreign interference into certain campaigns during past elections must not be ignored or used to score political points,” said Julian. “Canadians have to be able to trust that our elections are fair and free of foreign interference. We’ve come to a place where a full public inquiry is the only responsible path forward. I certainly hope that Liberals and Conservatives will support our call for this public inquiry to get answers about what happened and to propose solutions moving forward.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called for a public inquiry four days ago and, as more reports about foreign interference have become public, New Democrats maintained that a parliamentary committee is not the most appropriate non-partisan venue to address the troubling reports that have emerged from CSIS via the media.

“When reports like these come out, people don’t want elected officials to score political points—they want solutions that protect our democracy,” said Julian. “To have the utmost confidence in our system, there must be a thorough, transparent and independent investigation into all instances of alleged interference in the election,” added Julian.

Members of the PROC committee from all parties will have the opportunity to vote for the NDP’s motion at the next meeting, Thursday, March 2.