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Interference inquiry must probe collusion allegations, opposition urges

Opposition parties are urging the public inquiry into foreign interference to investigate allegations of Canadian parliamentarians colluding with other governments, as described in a bombshell report released last week.

The Bloc Québécois has introduced a motion requesting the terms of reference of the inquiry be expanded to include startling allegations that federal politicians “wittingly” participated in foreign interference schemes over the last five years.

As it stands, the commission’s mandate is to “examine and assess” interference by China, Russia and other foreign states and “any impacts” on the 2019 and 2021 elections, meaning some of the allegations revolving around parliamentarians may fall outside the inquiry’s scope.

Last week, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) released a  92-page document containing allegations parliamentarians are working with foreign states, including sharing confidential information, meeting a “known intelligence officer” and accepting funds or favours.

The committee of parliamentarians, which is made up of MPs from all parties, “examined information” gathered between Sept. 1, 2018 and March 15 of this year.

Both the NDP and Conservatives say they will support the Bloc motion, which also requests that the House of Commons formally “express concern that certain elected officials may be wittingly or unwittingly working in the interests of foreign powers.”

In a statement Monday, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer said he has written a letter to Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc and commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue asking the inquiry to “issue a finding of fact for each case in the NSICOP report where a member of a House of Commons (or) Senate of Canada

Read more on globalnews.ca