Allegations of Treason Rock Canada's Parliament

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Canadian Parliament is in the grip of dramatic allegations from a national security committee that some lawmakers assisted a foreign government in interfering in the 2019 and 2021 elections.


The bombshell report gives few details. No names have been named, no party singled out. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to fill in the blanks, leading to wild speculation that it is his party that's involved in treason.

The heavily redacted, 92-page report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) is a separate investigation from an inquiry into election interference by foreign powers in those elections.

“The national security committee indicates there are members of this House that have knowingly worked for foreign hostile governments,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said Wednesday. “Canadians have a right to know who and what is the information — who are they?”

The NSICOP said it reviewed intelligence that suggests "semi-witting or witting” members of Parliament have worked with foreign countries, "to mobilize voters during a political campaign; have taken cash 'knowingly or through willful blindness' from foreign missions or their proxies; and have shared privileged information with foreign diplomatic officials."

Yeah, treason.


One of the most damaging lines in Monday’s report points out Canada’s failure to address long-standing challenges in how national security information can be used in criminal proceedings. The report says this is one reason why criminal charges for the potentially illegal activities are unlikely.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Tuesday that she takes the issue seriously. She deflected when asked if Canadians have the right to know the identity of the parliamentarians involved.

“We should recognize this is a new time,” she said, adding that authoritarians want to undermine democracies by sowing public distrust in government.


Freeland will not commit to releasing any names. Evidently, "transparency" is something reserved for members of the Conservative Party. 

Justice Marie-Josée Hogue is conducting the parallel investigation into foreign interference in Canadian elections. Her commission is investigating "claims that the Chinese government helped mobilize voters against a Conservative candidate in western Canada and helped elect another as a Liberal in the Toronto area," according to Politico.

Which members of Parliament are assisting foreign governments in interfering in elections? 

“We all know that no responsible government would reveal names under these types of confidential circumstances,” Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc responded on the floor of the House of Commons.

Do we all know that? 

“It’s important for Canadians to understand that these names are contained in intelligence reports, in some cases, it’s uncorroborated or unverified intelligence information,” he told a parliamentary committee studying foreign interference. “The idea that there’s a perfect list of names that is entirely reliable that should be released to the public is simply irresponsible.”

David McGuinty, chair of the NSICOP, which published the buzzy redacted report, said the decision to publicize the names of lawmakers is outside of his control.

McGuinty and the nine other NSICOP members with top-secret security clearance are bound by Canada’s Security of Information Act and risk prosecution if they inadvertently reveal classified information, he said.

He wouldn’t say if he’s bothered by sitting in the same party caucus with potential abettors of foreign interference.

“I’m more concerned about the fact that now the government has to move forward on this,” McGuinty said.


Conservative MP Michael Chong, whom China has been targeting for his advocacy on behalf of Uyghurs, is demanding that the committee release the names. China had spied on him and his family, and he wanted to know which of his colleagues was helping them.

"Certain members of this House acted in the best interest of hostile foreign regimes interfering in Canada's democracy. This is a disgusting betrayal of Canadians who elected us," party legislator Jasraj Singh Hallan told the House on Monday.

Indeed it is.



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