Public Hearings to begin January 29, 2024

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 22, 2023 /CNW/ – The Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions will begin its public hearings on January 29, 2024.  

These preliminary hearings, which are mandated by paragraph (a)(i)(D) of the Commission’s Terms of Reference, will aim to identify the best ways to address the challenge of making as much of the information received by the Commission as possible public in its hearings and reports, when much of that information will originate from classified documents and sources.

The hearings are expected to be held over five days and will take place at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. The Commission will hear from both factual witnesses and recognized experts. 

“These hearings are preliminary in that they will serve to prepare the next public hearings, at which the Commission will examine the substantive issues arising from its mandate,” said Commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue.

The Commission has requested a postponement of the due date of its first report to May 3, 2024, in order to allow sufficient time for a public process and public hearings on the substantive issues in its mandate before the report is delivered.

“The purpose of this postponement is to give meaning and purpose to the preliminary hearings, and to allow more time to maximize the transparency of the Commission’s work,” said Commissioner Hogue.  “Ensuring that classified information, intelligence, and documents are put in a form that is such that they can be released to the public is a long and complex process. The Commission is committed to holding public hearings before it submits it first report.”

The Commission intends to conduct the second stage of its work in parallel with the first stage, and therefore believes that the deadline for the first report can be extended without postponing the ultimate deadline of December 31, 2024, for the submission of its second report.

The Government of Canada created the Foreign Interference Commission to respond to concerns about foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.  The Commission will also examine the flow of information within the federal government in relation to these issues, evaluate the actions taken in response, assess the federal government’s capacity to detect, deter, and counter foreign interference, and make recommendations on these issues.

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SOURCE Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference

Public Hearings to begin January 29, 2024 WeeklyReviewer

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