National Newswatch

RCMP not investigating foreign interference in Vancouver’s 2022 election, despite CSIS report

Mar 30 2023 — Nathan VanderKlippe — The RCMP is not investigating foreign interference in Vancouver’s election last year, despite a Canadian intelligence report that China’s consul-general sought to shape the outcome of that vote. The report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service describes Tong Xiaoling, then China’s chief representative to the West Coast city, as saying that “they needed to get […]

Pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts ‘weaponizing’ fringe users to erode Canadians’ support for Ukraine, study finds

Mar 29 2023 — Steven Chase — Pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts are “weaponizing” social-media users on the far right and far left of the political spectrum in Canada to undermine support for Ukraine, a new study by Canadian and American researchers says. The report, Enemy of My Enemy, studied two years of Twitter activity, including the lead-up to Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022 military […]

Canadian MPs to visit Taiwan, another target of Chinese interference, in April trip

Mar 27 2023 — Steven Chase and Robert Fife — A delegation of MPs will visit Taiwan in April to meet with lawmakers on the self-ruled island claimed by China, a gesture of solidarity with a territory under threat from Beijing as Canada itself grapples with foreign interference from the Chinese government. The group includes Liberal MP John McKay, chair of the Commons defence committee, […]

Federal budget 2023 to announce $7-billion in savings on outsourcing, travel and consultants: government source

Mar 27 2023 — Bill Curry — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2023 budget will announce plans to save about $7-billion over five years through cuts to federal travel and reduced outsourcing, with a particular focus on using fewer management consultants, according to a senior government official. The savings represent one side of what will be a challenging political balancing act for the […]

No one is cool when the President of the United States comes to Ottawa

Mar 25 2023 — Shannon Proudfoot — The canned political communication that emerges from Canadian-American bilateral visits like the brief and much-anticipated sojourn U.S. President Joe Biden made to Ottawa this week tends to emphasize the historic and monumental. There’s the 8,891-kilometre (or, if you prefer, 5,525-mile) border that dissolves in the warm glow of family and friendship ties, trade, manufacturing and […]

Trudeau government decided CSIS transcript of MP Han Dong provided no ‘actionable evidence’

Mar 24 2023 — Robert Fife and Steven Chase — The Trudeau government determined that there was no “actionable evidence” after it received a CSIS transcript of an early 2021 conversation between Liberal MP Han Dong and China’s top diplomat in Toronto, according to a senior government source – saying conclusions could not be drawn that Mr. Dong asked Beijing to keep two Canadians in […]

Pierre Poilievre needs a Common Sense Revolution of his own

Mar 21 2023 — John Ibbitson — There are all sorts of reasons to question Pierre Poilievre’s proposed Blue Seal program, which would federally certify doctors and nurses who did not study in Canada. Would we accept doctors who performed their residency in another country? How would Ottawa convince provincial licensing bodies to recognize their qualifications? But that’s not what matters. What […]

Opposition to David Johnston’s appointment shows how much politics has changed

Mar 20 2023 — John Ibbitson — The strong opposition to David Johnston’s appointment as special rapporteur investigating Chinese interference in elections reveals how our times, and our politics, have changed. In a previous column, I suggested that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre should accept Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s choice of Mr. Johnston on the grounds that the former governor-general was appointed to […]

Why I blew the whistle on Chinese interference in Canada’s elections

Mar 17 2023 — — When I joined the public service many years ago, I swore an oath. Not to party or to person, but to my country, to its democratic institutions and to my fellow Canadians. When I first became aware of the significance of the threat posed by outside interference to our democratic institutions, I worked – as […]