Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, has declared that his government will set aside $5.5 million for “disinformation” to counter accusations that he benefited from election interference by the Chinese Communist Party.
Prime Minister Trudeau announced a $5.5 million investment in “combatting disinformation” Monday at an Ottawa press conference. He stated, “I can confirm we are investing 5.5 Million dollars to build capacity for civil society organisations to fight disinformation.”
He said, “Because disinformation often propagated abroad can be a real danger to our elections and it is a threat that’s impossible for the federal government to combat alone.”
Although it is not known which groups or organisations will be able to benefit from $5.5 million, the Trudeau government’s recent history of funding individuals and groups that are questionable has been a problem.
Trudeau government cash was given to Leith Marouf, an alleged anti-hate activist who was later exposed as a prolific social media antisemite.
Marouf’s group, Community Media Advocacy Centre or CMAC, saw its funding cut last August after Ahmed Hussen, Housing and Diversity Minister, called Marouf’s statements “reprehensible and disgusting.”
Trudeau also gave large amounts of cash to Canadian Anti-Hate Network. This group was criticized for trying to link the Canadian flag that flew in World War Two with hate. It called the symbol a “hate-promoting emblem” as part a government-funded handbook project.
Canadian Liberal government has also decried “disinformation” and been accused of spreading disinformation, especially regarding the attempt to ban hunting firearms last season.
On Monday, Trudeau addressed major concerns about foreign election interference by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He also made allegations that his Liberal Party was directly affected by the interference in the federal elections.
These allegations were made by leaks from Canada’s Secret Intelligence Service (CSIS), who claimed to have warned Trudeau of Chinese attempts to interfere with the previous two elections.
Trudeau avoided questions on the topic and made bizarre statements about anti-Asian hatred when confronted with questions. This was in response to questions concerning MP Han Dong who was specifically identified by CSIS leakers.
MP Dong is accused of having benefited from the CCP busing Chinese international students to fake addresses in order to support Dong’s nomination for the Liberals candidate in the 2019 election.
Trudeau is reported to have not only ignored CSIS’ warnings but also informed Dong that the intelligence agency would be investigating him.
Others also noticed that Dong was absent from Canadian parliament votes condemning CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs despite being present for other votes the same day.
Trudeau initially tried to manage the brewing scandal by launching a probe into those who leaked confidential information from CSIS. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), however, confirmed Monday that it was beginning an investigation into violations of the Security of Information Act.
Trudeau, in Ottawa, announced Monday that he would not launch a full investigation into Chinese election meddling. This was contrary to the demand of opposition parties. However, Trudeau said that he would name an investigator.
The reporteur’s role is to decide whether to recommend a formal investigation, judicial review or other investigations into the allegations.
The name of the rapporteur has not yet been released. However, Pierre Poilievre, leader of Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), has expressed concern that Trudeau might appoint someone sympathetic to handle the fallout from the scandal.
“Refusing to reveal their secrets is the only way to stop the alleged Chinese secret interference. Poilievre called for a formal inquiry and said that a fully independent, non-partisan public inquiry was the best way to illuminate the shadows.
He said, “All parties must agree on the identity of the commissioner; we can’t have another Liberal crony to lead this inquiry.”