The full article is exclusively available in the Wall Street Journal.
By Brian Lee Crowley, April 11, 2023
Canada has been rocked in recent weeks by leaks indicating the government knew about Chinese meddling in recent elections. A Feb. 17 report in the Globe and Mail newspaper suggests that Beijing was actively meddling in Canada’s democracy at every level: federal, provincial and municipal. The leaks also reveal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has responded to reports of interference with obstruction, obfuscation and only minor concessions.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been trying to highlight Chinese foreign interference to the prime minister’s office for many years, with little to show for it. Recent leaks have shed further light on this issue. National-security briefings were apparently delivered to Mr. Trudeau’s office, most recently in early 2022, claiming that China actively attempted to influence the 2019 federal election. Intelligence reports also revealed new information about Chinese interference in the 2021 election.
The mere potential of widespread interference should be reason enough for investigation, but the Liberal government has badly mishandled the response, with Mr. Trudeau engaging in messy denial and finger-pointing. He dodged questions about his knowledge of the foreign interference and claimed that it didn’t affect the outcome of the elections in a “significant way.” He also said that calls for thorough investigation stemmed from “anti-Asian racism” and that the real investigation should be of the security services that leaked the information…