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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed during a public inquiry that although China attempted to interfere in the recent Canadian elections, these efforts did not influence the outcomes.

Trudeau described both the 2019 and 2021 elections as “free and fair,” despite the interference attempts. His comments came during sworn testimony before a commission tasked with investigating alleged foreign meddling in these elections.

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Trudeau established the commission last year following demands from opposition members and reports suggesting China’s potential influence. Despite these challenges, Trudeau reassured the public that the integrity of the elections was maintained. “Nothing we have seen and heard, despite yes, attempts by foreign states to interfere, those elections held in their integrity. They were decided by Canadians,” he stated.

The inquiry also reviewed an intelligence report suggesting that some Chinese officials in Canada favored a Liberal minority government in 2021, believing it would struggle to implement strong anti-China policies. However, Trudeau noted that this report never reached him, and he doubted any significant preference by the Chinese government: “While individual [Chinese] officials may well have expressed a preference or another, the impression we got and consistently would get is that … it just would seem very improbable that the Chinese government itself would have a preference in the election,” he explained.

The commission is set to release an initial report by May 3, with a final report expected by the end of 2024.

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This comes as tensions between Canada and China have been high, particularly after the 2018 arrest of a top Huawei executive in Canada on US charges, followed by China’s detention of two Canadians on espionage accusations. Both incidents have contributed to strained bilateral relations.


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