NDP's Jagmeet Singh says report shows 'a number of MPs' have helped foreign states

  • Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says a recent spy watchdog report shows a "number of MPs" have knowingly provided help to foreign governments — behaviour he calls unethical or even illegal.

Singh said Thursday he is "more alarmed today" after reading an unredacted version of a report on foreign interference by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.

The intelligence watchdog, composed of MPs and senators, said in a public report last week that some parliamentarians are "semi-witting or witting" participants in the efforts of foreign states to meddle in Canadian politics.

The blunt report prompted a flurry of concern that members knowingly involved in interference might still be active in politics.

Singh told reporters that after seeing the full report, he is "more convinced than ever" of the watchdog's public conclusions.

"In short, there are a number of MPs who have knowingly provided help to foreign governments, some to the detriment of Canada and Canadians," Singh said.

"There are also politicians at all levels of government who have benefited from foreign interference. Some of this behavior absolutely appears to be criminal and should be prosecuted."

Singh said the report also stated that he had been a target of foreign interference.

The Green Party's Elizabeth May, who has also seen the full version, said this week it does not contain a "list of MPs who have shown disloyalty to Canada."

May said she believes the small number of MPs named in the report did not knowingly set out to betray Canada.

Singh said previously that if the full report showed any New Democrat MP knowingly took part in meddling, he would remove them from caucus.

He indicated Thursday that he would not be taking such action.

Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet has also signalled a desire to be briefed on the complete watchdog report.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has not taken steps to acquire the security clearance needed to read the full report.

Liberal MP David McGuinty, who chairs the spy watchdog composed of parliamentarians, said Wednesday that national security and intelligence should not be a partisan issue.

He said party leaders could come together and "have an adult conversation" about how to deal with the issue within their own parties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2024.