Trudeau declares there was no foreign interference as inquiry goes on

Dismisses legitimate concerns raised by the inquiry as Conservatives looking for excuses for losing.

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We may as well shut down the Foreign Interference Commission right now. No need to investigate further, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken. Despite the fact that Trudeau isn’t scheduled to appear before the committee until next week, he’s already declared there was never any impact on the election due to outside interference.

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“Not a single riding or the result of the overall election was impacted or changed because of foreign interference,” Trudeau said Wednesday.

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Trudeau made those comments just hours after former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole put forward a different viewpoint. O’Toole said that his party lost as many as nine ridings due to foreign inference by China in the 2021 election, that the party had heard about issues through the campaign and those complaints were borne out by the results on election night.

“That night, there was already a clear indication that a number of ridings were vastly outside of our modelling window,” O’Toole told the commission.

Each party models what they expect the vote result to look like based on polling, information gathered by candidates and campaign workers via door-knocking and as a result of historical voting patterns. O’Toole said it was clear that many voters they expected to support them simply stayed home.

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The inquiry also heard Wednesday from Conservative MP Michael Chong, NDP MP Jenny Kwan and former Conservative MP Kenny Chui. While Chong and Kwan won their seats, despite the actions of the Chinese government, Chiu is one of the Conservative seats that was lost to the Liberals after Chiu was targeted over his strong statements against human rights abuses by Beijing.

“It’s almost like I was drowning, and they were watching it,” Chiu said of his experience in the 2021 election.

Chiu, who was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada as a teenager, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2019. After speaking out against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy and human rights in Hong Kong, he became the target of a misinformation campaign against him that he believes was led by the Chinese government.

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Vancouver NDP MP Kwan, who was also born in Hong Kong and came to Canada as a child, told the commission she was also targeted after speaking up in favour of democracy in Hong Kong. Kwan, along with Chong, are the sitting MPs that have publicly admitted they were targeted by the dictators in Beijing.

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Despite clear evidence of China’s attempts to manipulate our elections, Trudeau tried to dismiss it all as Conservative griping when asked to respond to what has been revealed at the inquiry.

“I can understand where someone who lost an election is trying to look for reasons other than themselves why they might have lost an election,” Trudeau said.

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He went on to detail the efforts his government has put in place to try and track and deal with foreign interference. What he didn’t say is that he has ignored the committee of MPs he appointed who have found problems and the civil servants he tasked with looking into the matter refused to examine complaints raised with them.

So, Trudeau gets to say that the integrity of the elections, in every riding, held. As long as you ignore all the problems.

Even with former Liberal MP Han Dong, Trudeau is whistling past the graveyard.

The inquiry heard this week that to vote in a Liberal nomination, you don’t need to be a citizen or even a permanent resident. In fact, it appears likely from testimony at the inquiry that Chinese students were bused in to vote for Dong and the accusation is they were instructed by China’s consulate to vote for Dong. (Dong testified that he has not seen any evidence of Chinese interference.)

In some ridings, like Don Valley North, winning the nomination is more important than winning the election. Not that this bothers Trudeau, since it helped him, he can just dismiss it as Conservative gripping.

Meanwhile, the rest of us look at the evidence in shock and horror.

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