Skip to main content

Poilievre Conservatives offer to help Trudeau Liberals pass foreign interference bill

Share

Pierre Poilievre's Conservative Party is offering to help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government pass a piece of legislation aimed at countering foreign interference in Canada.

The rare showing of cross-aisle cooperation came in a letter from Conservative MP and foreign affairs critic Michael Chong to Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

In it, Chong says in order to see Bill C-70, the "Countering Foreign Interference Act," passed and enacted ahead of the next federal election, the Official Opposition is willing to "work in good faith to ensure the rapid progress" of the legislation "while ensuring sufficient scrutiny."

The nearly 100-page piece of legislation introduced earlier this month proposes a suite of new measures and law changes, including enacting the long-called-for foreign agent registry.

Noting it took "years" for this bill to come forward, Chong said "inaction and delay cannot continue."

"The government and Official Opposition must work together to ensure that our democratic institutions and elections are protected from the threats of authoritarian states," Chong said. "As the general election draws closer, time is running out to strengthen the confidence Canadians have in our elections."

Specifically, the Conservatives are offering to move a unanimous consent motion at the end of debate at second reading of Bill C-70 – currently scheduled to begin on Wednesday – that if all MPs agreed to, would allow the swift passage of the legislation through committee and the House.

The legislation was proposed amid extensive scrutiny over the federal government's handling of foreign interference efforts in the 2019 and 2021 elections, and has also been welcomed by the federal NDP.

LeBlanc said when he presented Bill C-70 that he hoped the series of reforms within it could be in place ahead of the next vote, vowing to work with opposition parties towards that aim, given the widespread calls for more action on this file.

Speaking briefly to reporters on his way out of a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill, LeBlanc said he was reassured by Chong's offer to work together to pass the bill, and indicated an openness to amendments to strengthen it. 

IN DEPTH

Opinion

opinion

opinion Don Martin: How a beer break may have doomed the carbon tax hike

When the Liberal government chopped a planned beer excise tax hike to two per cent from 4.5 per cent and froze future increases until after the next election, says political columnist Don Martin, it almost guaranteed a similar carbon tax move in the offing.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Local Spotlight

Peek inside the new dinosaur exhibit opening at UBC

It’s been roughly 66 million years since dinosaurs roamed the earth. And when you see this fossil cast of a daspletosaurus in tight quarters – you wouldn’t want the gap between our times on this planet to be any closer.

Stay Connected