Ottawa, ON — The Honourable Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, released the following statement calling on Liberal Minister, Dominic LeBlanc, to quickly put in place safeguards that will protect Canadian democracy ahead of the next federal election:

“Canada’s democracy has never been more vulnerable to foreign interference. This was made clear through Justice Hogue’s Initial Report into foreign interference, which concluded that ‘interference occurred in the last two general elections’ and became so serious that it ‘diminished the ability of some voters to cast an informed vote.’ She also concluded that foreign interference had a negative impact on the ‘broader electoral ecosystem’ in the 2019 and 2021 general elections and that it undermined ‘public confidence’ in Canadian democracy.

“Canadians expect the Government of Canada to protect elections and democratic institutions from the coercive, clandestine and corrupt foreign interference threat activities of authoritarian states. However, time and time again, the Liberal Government has failed to put sufficient measures in place to protect both our democracy and Parliament. Finally, after years of delay, the Government has introduced Bill C-70, An Act respecting countering foreign interference. We must ensure this Bill is implemented before the next federal election.

“For this reason, Conservatives will work with the Government to ensure this Bill is passed as swiftly as possible. This is essential to restore the confidence that Canadians have in their elections. On top of this, Justice Hogue stated that the risk of foreign interference will only increase as long as ‘sufficient protective measures to guard against it’ are not taken.

“Common Sense Conservatives will work in good faith to ensure the rapid progress of Bill C-70 through the House while ensuring sufficient scrutiny of the bill’s measures. This is vital to ensuring that Canadians can head to the polls in confidence and free of intimidation of fear.”