OTTAWA, ON, June 18, 2023 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada continues to strengthen and protect our democracy from threats posed by foreign interference.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, announced that the measures brought in to protect the four by-elections from any potential foreign interference will be applied to the Calgary Heritage electoral district by-election to be held on July 24, 2023.
These measures are continuously reviewed in light of the potential for new and evolving threats.
The Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force will provide enhanced monitoring and assessing of foreign interference threats during the by-election period. These assessments will be provided to the Deputy Minister Committee on Intelligence Response, which will stand ready to brief and advise ministers with mandates to combat foreign interference and protect Canada’s democratic institutions.
Lines of communications have been opened with designated representatives of political parties to ensure engagement should it become necessary over the course of the by-election period.
SITE will also produce both a classified and an unclassified report consisting of the Task Force’s assessment of any attempts at foreign interference identified during the by-elections. The classified report will 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.
These measures are in line with our commitment to keeping Canadians informed about foreign interference in Canada. Building upon the Plan to Protect Canada’s Democracy, the Government of Canada continues to defend Canada’s democracy against interference and uphold Canadians’ confidence in our institutions.
“The measures we are putting in place today are a continuation of the work we have done since 2015 to ensure the strength and resilience of our democracy. Any attack, or attempted attack, on our democracy is unacceptable. We will continue to be vigilant and nimble in responding to the threat posed by foreign interference.”
– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
- The four by-elections being held on June 19, 2023 are also protected by these measures.
- The Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force was established as part of the government’s Plan to Protect Canada’s Democracy in 2019. It is composed of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, Global Affairs Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- On March 6, 2023, the Government of Canada announced a series of measures to take further action on foreign interference and strengthen Canadians’ confidence in our democracy. Other measures included:
- asking the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) to complete a review of the state of foreign interference in federal electoral processes;
- asking the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) to complete a review of how Canada’s national security agencies handled the threat of foreign interference during the 43rd and 44th federal general elections;
- launching public consultations to guide the creation of a Foreign Influence Transparency Registry in Canada to ensure transparency and accountability from people who advocate on behalf of a foreign government and ensure communities who are targeted by attempts at foreign interference are protected;
- establishing a new National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator in Public Safety Canada to coordinate efforts to combat foreign interference; and
- investing $5.5 million to create the Canadian Digital Media Research Network, which will further strengthen Canadians’ information resilience by researching how quality of information, including disinformation narratives, impacts Canadians’ attitudes and behaviours and by supporting strategies for Canadians’ digital literacy.
- On April 6, 2023, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Janice Charette, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, delivered a report to the Prime Minister entitled Countering an Evolving Threat: Update on Recommendations to Counter Foreign Interference in Canada’s Democratic Institutions.
- Government of Canada provides update on recommendations to combat foreign interference
- Protecting democracy
SOURCE Minister for Democratic Institutions