Interference inquiry head says feds have signalled need for closed-door hearings

OTTAWA — The head of a federal inquiry into foreign interference says the government has told her it will be necessary to hear some evidence behind closed doors.

In a notice issued today, commissioner Marie−Josée Hogue says the government will have the burden of convincing her that disclosure of such evidence to inquiry participants or the public could endanger national security.

If Hogue and her counsel are not persuaded by government arguments, she will require that the evidence be presented in public hearings.

On the other hand, if she agrees to a closed−door hearing, a summary of the evidence presented will be prepared for public release.

Hogue says that if the government and the commission disagree on the need to keep certain information under wraps, she will notify the government of her intention to disclose it.

In turn, the government will then have the option of bringing the dispute before the Federal Court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press