State actors are looking to join political parties to ‘exert influence,’ chair of security committee warns


Foreign governments are looking to meddle in Canada’s democratic institutions and the government’s foreign interference warning system should alert Canadians to state actors’ “traditional” election tricks, says the chair of one of Canada’s national security committees. Liberal MP David McGuinty, who has headed the secretive National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians since its inception, said the internal panel set up in 2019 to sound the alarm on election interference — the “critical election incident public protocol panel” — should have its mandate expanded to include old-school espionage techniques. “What does that mean? That means volunteers signing up to work in campaign offices or campaign settings. It means individuals joining political parties and attending nomination meetings in order to attempt to exert influence. Usually, the motivation is directed in some way by a foreign government,” McGuinty told CBC News soon after NSICOP’s 2020 report was tabled in the House of Commons on Monday.

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