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Singh 'more alarmed' after reading report, but won't break from Liberal-NDP agreement

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Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he is “even more alarmed than before” after reading the un-redacted report alleging there are MPs and senators who are participating to some degree in foreign interference efforts.

Singh received security clearance to the full classified report of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) this week. After reading it, he says he concluded that several MPs have knowingly aided foreign governments, telling reporters Thursday that “what they’re doing is unethical.”

“What I read absolutely bolsters the conclusion, and it makes me even more alarmed than before," Singh told CTV Question Period host Vassy Kapelos in an interview that aired Sunday.

“The conclusions that were drawn by the report are that there were serious examples where parliamentarians engaged in activity that undermined our country.”

Some of that reported activity, Singh adds, is illegal and it is all unethical.

Singh could not detail the names or number of MPs listed in the report, due to the provisions associated with his top security clearance, but stressed there are unresolved issues that must be dealt with.

“Their conclusions were really, I would say, incendiary in a lot of ways,” Singh said. “People saw that and were very, deeply worried. I’m saying that’s exactly how people should feel, that that feeling of being disturbed or being alarmed by the revelations in that report were maintained by the un-redacted version.”

Even after reviewing the report and criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his willingness to accept some level of foreign interference, Singh said he is unwilling to break ranks with the minority Liberal government.

"I want to make this point really clear, I'm worried about foreign interference in an election. I don't want to cause an election to address foreign interference. What I want to do is use my power in the minority government to get answers," Singh said, later adding they're using their tools in Parliament to force action and provide transparency.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party of Canada says Singh should pull his Liberal Party backing and let them face in an election if he has concerns regarding Trudeau’s failure to protect democracy.

In 2022, the federal Liberals and New Democrats brokered a confidence-and-supply agreement where the NDP caucus props up the government in confidence votes and budgets, in exchange for progress on certain policies. The agreement runs out in 2025.

An election to address foreign interference, however, is something Singh says he wants to steer clear of. Instead, he says he wants to use his power in the minority government to get answers.

“When I was critical of Justin Trudeau, I was equally critical of (Conservative Leader) Pierre Poilievre. I can say with great confidence … if there was a majority government under Justin Trudeau or a majority government under Poilievre, neither of them would have allowed for a public inquiry,” Singh said during his interview.

”Both of them have shown behaviour where they put the interests of their own party ahead of the country, and there are certain instances that should absolutely call in anyone who cares about our country to put our country first.”

Justice Marie-Josée Hogue is currently leading the public inquiry into foreign interference and is expected to deliver a final report at the end of the year.

Earlier this week, the Liberals supported a Bloc Quebecois motion for the foreign interference commissioner’s mandate to include the report’s allegations – though whether or not it will be included in Hogue’s probe is ultimately up to her.

With files from CTV Question Period’s Stephanie Ha and Vassy Kapelos, and The Canadian Press 

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