Spy agency told election chief of possible meddling in nomination, inquiry hears

OTTAWA — Chief electoral officer Stéphane Perrault says that during the 2019 general election, Canada’s spy agency told him of possible foreign meddling in a political nomination contest.

A document tabled today at a commission of inquiry into foreign interference says Perrault decided at that point no action could be taken on the issue in the Toronto riding of Don Valley North.

The document, a summary of the commission’s classified interview with Perrault, says he noted that participation in a nomination contest is not regulated in the same way as an election.

Perrault also pointed out that no complaints had been lodged by other participants in the nomination contest.

A 2023 media report alleged that China interfered with the nomination of Han Dong as the Liberal candidate in Don Valley North in 2019.

Asked whether the matter raised by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service involved the Liberal party nomination contest, Perrault told the inquiry today he was not authorized to elaborate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press