Reference number:
Date received:
Sep 18, 2023
Privy Council Office
Name of Minister:
LeBlanc, Dominic (Hon.)
Title of Minister:
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

Suggested Response:

• As a government, it’s our job to protect our institutions and everyone who calls Canada home.
• Foreign interference attempts are not acceptable, and Canada will never tolerate them.
• That is why, since 2015, the Government of Canada has taken robust action to safeguard our democracy and our institutions, and we have strengthened these mechanisms over the past years.
• This March, the Government announced a series of new measures, and this summer, Canada’s security agencies monitored recent by-elections for foreign interference attempts and reported publicly on their findings.
• The Government also recently announced a public inquiry into foreign interference in federal electoral processes and democratic institutions, with the full support of all recognized parties in the House.
• The Government will continue to take action, including working with our allies, to protect Canadian values, principles, rights and freedoms.


On September 12, 2023, Mr. Michael Chong (CPC), was invited to Washington, D.C., to speak to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, an 18-member panel from the Senate and House of Representatives that monitors human abuses in China and is examining Beijing's global-repression campaign. "Foreign interference is a serious, national-security threat to Canada. It threatens our economy, long-term growth, social cohesion, our Parliament and our elections. It requires a suite of measures to combat, including closer co-operation among allied democracies," Mr. Chong told the commission.
In response to recent leaks of classified information concerning FI, and to help rebuild confidence in the Canadian democratic system, the government has directed a number of independent reviews to examine this issue. These include reviews by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), as well as the establishment of a Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions.
The announcement of this inquiry follows extensive consultations with all recognized parties in the House of Commons. All parties have agreed to the Terms of Reference and the appointment of the Commissioner. The inquiry will be led by the Honourable Marie-Josée Hogue, puisne judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal, whose work as Commissioner will begin on September 18, 2023.
In addition, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) and the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) have been studying the issue of foreign interference. These Committees have heard from a wide range of individuals, including political party officials, members of diaspora communities, senior government officials, political staff, and Ministers. Their reports are expected to include additional recommendations.
Other measures announced by the Government of Canada since March 2023 include:
• Launching public consultations to guide the creation of a Foreign Influence Transparency Registry to ensure transparency and accountability from people who advocate on behalf of a foreign government and ensure communities who are often targeted by attempts at foreign interference are protected;
• Establishing a new National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator to align efforts across Canada’s government;
• Investing $5.5 million to strengthen the capacity of civil society partners to counter disinformation;
• Through Budget 2023, investing $48.9M over three years to provide additional support to the RCMP to increase their investigative capacity and more proactively engage with at-risk communities targeted by threat actors for foreign interference;
• Developing a plan to address outstanding recommendations from recently concluded or ongoing assessments of the threat of foreign interference in recent federal general elections. This plan, which was publicly released on April 6, 2023, highlights work completed to date, further actions to respond to recommendations from NSICOP and assessments of the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (the Protocol) to:
­ Enhance communications with Canadians about FI and protecting democracy
­ Strengthen institutions and supporting legislation to combat FI
­ Respond to newly emerging risks, vulnerabilities, and security issues; and
­ Deepen engagement with partners to enhance awareness and improve resiliency to FI.

Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions – additional information:
- The Honourable Justice Marie-Josée Hogue was appointed under the Inquiries Act with a mandate to examine and address foreign interference by China, Russia, and other foreign states or nonstate actors, including any potential impacts, to confirm the integrity, and any impacts on the 2019 and 2021 general elections at the national and electoral district levels.
- The Commissioner will operate independently from the government and will have a full range of powers, including the power to compel witnesses and testimony on matters within federal jurisdiction, and broad access to classified and unclassified documents.
- An interim report will be delivered by February 29, 2024, and a final report by December 2024. The Commissioner may deliver a classified report containing any relevant classified content, if required, and a report suitable for disclosure to the public. Leaders of all parties in the House of Commons with appropriate clearance will be invited to review classified versions.
Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections Task Force – Threats to the Canadian Federal By-elections (June 2023) – additional information:
- On May 16, 2023, the Government of Canada announced that the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections Task Force (SITE) was to provide enhanced monitoring and assessment of foreign interference threats directed at the federal by-elections being held on June 19, 2023. A similar announcement was made on June 18, 2023, for the federal by-election being held on July 24, 2023.
- SITE was also tasked to produce both a classified and an unclassified report following the day of the vote, consisting of its assessment of any attempts at foreign interference identified during the by-elections. The classified report was to be made available to the Prime Minister, relevant ministers, as well as to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and identified representatives of the parties with appropriate security clearances.
- SITE’s public report for the June 19, 2023, by-elections was released on August 9, 2023. The report stated that SITE did not observe, at that time, any indication of foreign interference directed at the by-elections. No cyber incidents were detected to suggest that any foreign state actors were specifically targeting Elections Canada from May 16 until June 20, 2023.
- SITE’s public report for the July 24, 2023, by-election is forthcoming.

Additional Information: