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Opinion stories

MALCOLM: Feds turn blind eye to foreign meddling in our election

Were they watching the same election?

Two days after Canadians cast their ballots last Monday, the Trudeau government had already determined that there was “no foreign interference detected” in the 2019 federal election. 

According to a CBC report, “officials tasked with monitoring and preventing foreign interference did not ‘observe’ any activity that merited sounding the alarm, according to the Privy Council Office.”

Were they watching the same election?

You know, the one where an Swedish climate alarmist and global celebrity held rallies and marches across the country and refused to disclose who was paying for her political activism, where possibly tens of thousands of non-citizens were sent voter cards from Elections Canada, and where the Liberals held a sketchy fundraiser in New York and sought out the endorsement of high-profile Americans? 

Each of those amounts to a concrete lead for officials to investigate foreign interference. Instead, the feds have already made their ruling: no interference, case closed. 

If our officials were truly neutral and wanted to investigate foreign meddling, they could start by looking at the top-secret Liberal fundraiser held in New York City on October 10, as first reported by Blacklocks.

We learned that Montreal Liberal MP Marc Miller attended the private event on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and that the Liberal-appointed Consul General Phyllis Yaffe refused to answer questions about whether she attended this fundraiser or how many non-Canadians were involved. 

Equally concerning, True North learned that former Clinton aide and U.S. citizen Justin Cooper was involved in organizing this NYC fundraiser for Trudeau. Elections Canada is clear that it is illegal for non-citizens to solicit funds for a Canadian election. 

“The Canada Elections Act prohibits foreign third parties from participating in elections and incurring expenses for regulated activities that take place during a pre-election period or an election period.”

Earlier this year, Elections Canada pledged to eliminate the more than 103,000 names illegally on the federal voter list to ensure that foreigners were not able to sway the outcome of the election. But throughout the campaign, Canadians saw news story after news story showing non-citizens receiver voter cards in the mail. 

How many non-citizens voted? And why did Elections Canada drag its heels and fail to delete illegal names?

According to an access to information report from Blacklocks, Elections Canada is not tracking this information. They confirmed that 75,000 names were deleted, but they also confirmed that there are many “potential instances of votes cast by individuals who were allegedly non-Canadian citizens.”

“Total number of non-Canadian citizens on the National Register of Electors as of June 1: unknown,” wrote staff. “Total number as of September 11: unknown.”

Or our officials could look into the Liberals seeking political endorsements for Justin Trudeau from former U.S. President Barack Obama and the Nigerian-born American President of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri. 

It’s pretty clear that Trudeau and his team worked with these non-Canadians to have them influence the outcome of our election. So why were officials tasked with monitoring foreign interference so quick to conclude otherwise?

“This is a typical lack of curiosity on behalf of our officials,” said Senator Linda Frum, who has worked tirelessly to promote a bill to prevent foreign interference in our elections. 

“Trudeau sat down with Greta, in his official role as Prime Minister during the campaign,” said Frum. “That may not necessarily be illegal, but it’s certainly an ethical violation.”

“Seeking out the endorsements of foreign leaders and foreign environmentalists is a violation of the spirit of non-involvement of foreigners in our elections,” said Frum. 

“This is breaking down the idea that our elections are for Canadians and no one else.”

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