Trudeau Officials Confirm Chinese Interfered With 2 Canadian Elections

At least two Canadian elections have been obstructed by China, according to testimony from officials within Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.

Recently released documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) showed that there was Chinese interference with federal elections and that the Trudeau administration received a briefing on the issue. The information came out on Monday April 8 during the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference.

The CSIS intel states that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had “clandestinely and deceptively interfered” with Canada’s general elections held in both 2019 and 2021. Despite being given 34 separate briefings about the situation as early as 2018, though, Trudeau’s office seemingly let it slide.

According to testimony read this week, both instances involved “activities [that] were pragmatic in nature” and intent on “supporting those viewed to be either pro-PRC or neutral on issues of interest to the PRC government.” In 2019, Trudeau’s then-national security advisor, Greta Bossenmaier, and other officials did not take action due to the conviction that the election would remain “free and fair” despite Chinese influence.

Government officials had specifically received information suggesting that the PRC had sent $250,000 to a secret Canadian network supporting the communist country. This group included at least 18 Canadian candidates running for positions in the federal government and 13 staff members from various political parties.

The deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general during the 2019 election, Nathalie Drouin—who is currently serving as the national security and intelligence adviser for the Trudeau administration—said that the “approach” and “tactic” of China’s actions “is really to do some pragmatic work” through activities that “they believe [are] necessary to promote their own interest.” She added that “this is the type of language we heard regarding [the] PRC.”

The release of the top secret documents pointing to Chinese election interference comes well over a year after concerned Canadians demanded a public inquiry into the suspected threat, which has been reported by the nation’s spy agency for many years. The official inquiry began a year after the calls for accountability began, kicking off in Jan. 2024.