In recent years, Canada has increasingly become a target of hostile states. While the threat of foreign interference is not new, it is evolving. From hacking to harassment; from elections to business; to everyday life.
The Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, announced on March 10 the launch of 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 often targeted by attempts at foreign interference are protected. These consultations with key stakeholders and the Canadian public will inform the path forward, including potential legislation.
All Canadians are encouraged to share their views through the consultation web page, where they can learn more about this important issue and submit their input. Online submissions will be accepted until May 9, 2023. The input received through this consultation will help develop new measures to bolster Canada’s national security.
Engaging with individuals and communities most affected is critical to ensuring new measures capture a wide range of views and expertise. The government will also seek the input of experts and stakeholders through roundtable dialogues in the coming weeks and months.
The government says protecting Canadians against foreign interference is a vital, non-partisan issue that it has taken action on for years. The work begins with law enforcement, who investigate and use a variety of tools at their disposal. It involves shoring up Canada’s institutions and infrastructure – like Bill C-26 to bolster cybersecurity, the former Bill C-76 to address foreign funding in elections, new resources for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to fight financial crime, and the creation of independent panels to examine potential interference in Canada’s elections. And it involves longer-term solutions like the consultations announced on Friday.
“Canada will never accept foreign interference in our affairs,” said Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino. “When it comes to hostile states who attempt to interfere in our country, our eyes are wide open. Consultations on the creation of a Canadian Foreign Influence Transparency Registry will bolster our efforts to address interference and protect Canadians.”