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Foreign Influence in Canadian Elections

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

As you know, Senator Gold, I have for some time been very concerned about foreign financial involvement in Canadian elections.

I was disappointed but hardly surprised to learn from an article in Blacklock’s Reporter this week that Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller will not reveal the names of the donors he met with in New York last October, whom he admitted in a signed document with the U.S. Department of Justice contributed to his election campaign last year. Senator Gold, those donors might be Canadians but they might not be. There’s no way we can know either way unless Mr. Miller complies with the law and reveals their names. His unwillingness to do so is of serious concern. Election laws apply to everyone, not just non-Liberals.

Will you commit to providing this chamber the full list of donors to Mr. Miller from his New York fundraising event so we can be satisfied that no election crime has occurred?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. The Government of Canada continues to be concerned, as we all are, about foreign interference in our elections. As you know, in 2019, the government established a non-partisan panel to administer the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol during any election period. During 2019, the panel did not observe any activity that met the threshold for a public announcement that affected the integrity of Canada’s electoral process.

Senator Frum: Senator Gold, Canadian election law requires that candidates list the names of any donors who donated more than $200 to their campaigns. Mr. Miller will not give the list of names of the donors at his fundraising event in New York. So I ask you again, will you commit to provide to this chamber the list of the names of donors who attended the event in New York and the amount that Mr. Miller raised in New York?

Senator Gold: I thank the honourable senator for the question but, not being aware of that event or others, I will certainly make inquiries and be pleased to report back to the chamber.

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