Canada to hold public inquiry into foreign interference in its elections | International

Rate this post

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, in Jakarta (Indonesia).ADEK BERRY / POOL (EFE)

The Government of Justin Trudeau announced this Thursday the launch of a public commission to investigate possible efforts at foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. This body will be chaired by Marie-Josée Hogue, judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec. Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, said in Ottawa that Judge Hogue “will have all the tools necessary to get to the bottom of things and suggest improvements to protect” democratic institutions.

These investigations regarding possible foreign interference have been a thorny issue for the Trudeau Government for months, since the Liberals considered them “unnecessary” at various times. In February, the newspaper The Globe and Mailand the chain Global News citing documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, stated that China wanted to intervene in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections. These media later reported that at least two Canadian deputies were the target of harassment and intimidation by agents from Beijing.

A few days after the dissemination of this information by The Globe and Mail and Global News, and in an atmosphere charged with criticism from the opposition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that a group of senior officials concluded that interference efforts had had no impact on the election results. However, pressure continued to increase and on March 15, Trudeau appointed David Johnston – former Governor General of Canada – to investigate the possibility of launching a public commission of inquiry.

Johnston concluded on May 23 that such a commission would not be necessary. After a wave of new pressure, he threw in the towel on June 9. For much of the summer, members of the Liberal Government held meetings with representatives of the opposition. The fruit of these meetings was the commitment to a public inquiry and the appointment of Marie-Josée Hogue.

The commission chaired by Judge Hogue will examine, according to the official announcement, “Chinese tactics,” but also “from Russia and other countries or non-state actors.” In this regard, Minister LeBlanc stated: “China is not the only actor trying to destabilize democratic institutions in Canada or other Western democracies.” The Chinese Government has vehemently denied these allegations.

Marie-Josée Hogue graduated in Law from the University of Sherbrooke in 1986 and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1987. She worked for more than 16 years in private law firms. In June 2015 she was appointed judge at the Quebec Court of Appeal. Likewise, she has appeared as a lawyer in different judicial instances, such as the Supreme Court of Canada and arbitration tribunals. In a statement, she thanked the trust to head the investigation committee and noted: “It is vital that our electoral processes and democratic institutions are protected from foreign interference.” Hogue must present a first provisional report no later than February 29, 2024 and a final report - with its respective recommendations - before December 31 of the same year.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh stated that Judge Hogue fits each of the criteria proposed to head the commission. For his part, Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, said that his group had the merit of having pressured the Trudeau Government to launch this body. Judge Hogue's work will begin on September 18, the date on which parliamentary sessions resume.

Subscribe here tonewsletterfrom EL PAÍS América and receive all the key information on current events in the region

Author Profile

Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.