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No evidence of India’s interference in poll: Canadian probe clears air

The Canadian government had set up Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions

No evidence of India’s interference in poll: Canadian probe clears air

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, April 11

Allegations of Indian meddling in the previous Canadian general election took a knock after former senior bureaucrats testified before a panel on foreign interference that they had no knowledge about any such attempt. The Canadian panel has cleared India of interference claims.

In the testimony before the panel, former Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Morgan said there was no information on Indian disinformation within the Canadian information ecosystem. Then Cabinet Secretary Janice Charette also said there was no hidden Indian Government hand in the run-up to the 2021 poll.

Ex-officials testify

  • In a testimony before a probe panel, Canadian ex-Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Morgan said there was no information on Indian disinformation
  • Then Cabinet Secretary Janice Charette also said there was no hidden Indian Government hand in the run-up to the 2021 poll

“I do not recall a Rapid Response Mechanism briefing on specific issues related to India in the online environment. But we would have been briefed— from a contextual perspective — on that because we were aware that that sort of thing could arise in Canada, and that as a panel, we needed to be prepared for that,” said Morgan to a pointed question from Prabjot Singh appearing on behalf of the Sikh Coalition.

Asked if the panel considered specific instances where threats constituted Indian disinformation, Morgan replied in the negative. “Because there was no information suggesting that there was disinformation or reports originating from that source in the Canadian information ecosphere during that period,” she said, according to the transcript released by the commission of the 12th hearing that took place on April 8.

“And I do not believe during the 2021 election that we saw evidence of the Government of India using those tools in the campaign,” said Charette.

The Canadian government had set up the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions. The commission will submit the final report by December 31.

The MEA has rejected allegations of Indian interference in Canadian elections. “It is not India’s policy to interfere in democratic processes of other countries. In fact, it is Canada which has been interfering in our internal affairs,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had earlier said.

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