3 in 4 Canadians Support Disclosing Names of MPs, Senators Accused of Foreign Collusion: Survey

3 in 4 Canadians Support Disclosing Names of MPs, Senators Accused of Foreign Collusion: Survey
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, in a file photo. (The Epoch Times)
Andrew Chen

Three-quarters of Canadians believe that MPs and senators accused of colluding with foreign entities should have their names publicly disclosed, a recent survey shows.

The June survey on Canadian politics conducted by Leger for Postmedia found that Conservative voters are slightly more likely to agree with public disclosure of names (84 percent) compared to Liberal supporters (78 percent).
The allegations against the parliamentarians were detailed in a June 3 report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP). The report cited intelligence indicating that some parliamentarians have been “semi-witting or witting” participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in Canadian politics.

These activities include receiving funds or benefits from foreign missions, engaging with missions that “quietly mobilize” community groups or businesses in favour of a candidate, and providing privileged information to foreign missions about their colleagues’ work.

The Conservatives have urged the Liberal government to publicly disclose the names of parliamentarians allegedly involved in foreign collusion. However, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who reviewed the names, pointed to laws protecting classified information as preventing him from doing so.

NDP MP Jenny Kwan has also advocated for releasing the names, arguing it would deter similar behaviour and help restore the reputations of all MPs, who she says are now “under a cloud of suspicion.” Last year, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service informed Ms. Kwan that she was a constant target of Beijing’s interference due to her outspoken criticism of the regime’s human rights violations.

“I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada’s democratic processes and institutions,” Ms. Kwan said in the House of Commons on June 18. “I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.”
MPs have voted to refer the matter to the Foreign Interference Commission for further study. The commission is currently investigating allegations of China’s interference in Canada’s federal elections in 2019 and 2021.

The Leger survey shows that 31 percent of Canadians believe potential foreign interference has greatly undermined the legitimacy of election results, while 41 percent think such interference has limited impact and doesn’t significantly affect overall results.

Conservative voters are notably more likely (46 percent) than supporters of other parties—Bloc Québécois (29 percent), Green (27 percent), NDP (23 percent), and Liberals (20 percent)—to view foreign interference as a significant threat to election legitimacy.

In response to the NSICOP report, the Liberals announced an internal review. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disagreement with parts of the report, noting that other party leaders who read the unredacted version came to differing conclusions.
On June 13, after reading the full report, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expressed alarm and labelled the implicated MPs as “traitors.”
Green Party Co-Leader Elizabeth May, on the other hand, expressed “relief” after reviewing the report, saying she had “no worries about anyone in the House of Commons,” although she added that some individuals “may be compromised” and are “beneficiaries of foreign governments interfering in nomination contests.”

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre declined clearance to read the classified NSICOP report, stating he does not want to be restricted in what he can tell Canadians. Those who get top-level security clearance to read the report are sworn to secrecy on what it contains.

The Leger poll surveyed 1,607 randomly selected Canadians aged 18 and older between June 21 and June 23.
Noé Chartier contributed to this report.