Skip to content

QUESTION PERIOD — Global Affairs

Foreign Interference

April 16, 2024

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Leader, Canadians remember that when reports of Beijing’s interference in our democracy were raised last year, Prime Minister Trudeau’s first instinct was to condemn the whistleblowers at CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and not the interference.

Through the Hogue inquiry, Canadian have learned that top Liberal Party officials were briefed by CSIS on Beijing’s alleged interference in the party’s nomination race in Don Valley North. The Globe and Mail reports that shortly after this briefing, the member of Parliament in question was tipped off that CSIS was watching him.

Leader, did a senior Liberal Party official leak this classified information? Yes or no? Has the Prime Minister referred this matter to the RCMP for investigation? Yes or no? If not, why not?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for your question. We’re learning, through the Hogue inquiry, that there is much work that still needs to be done to ensure information is properly analyzed and understood at various levels of the system. There are certainly lessons we expect to continue to learn so that our system can work better for the protection of Canadians.

With regard to any investigations that may be under way, it is not appropriate for me to comment.

In his testimony last week, Prime Minister Trudeau used his incompetence as a shield by indicating that he doesn’t read his memos. He is not worth the cost to our democracy. He and his staff questioned the reliability of CSIS intelligence. They said they weren’t given information in certain memos. The CSIS director testified on Friday that they were warned repeatedly.

Leader, how are Canadians supposed to square this conflicting testimony? They can’t both be correct. Who should Canadians believe?

Senator Gold [ - ]

I believe I have answered this question before. There is no contradiction. Canadians should have confidence in our security systems, but also in the capacity of expertise within the government and its advisers to analyze the information that is brought forward. It is simply a part of the normal and healthy exercise of interaction between security services and —

The Hon. the Speaker [ - ]

Thank you, Senator Gold.

Back to top