Senators approve bill to fight foreign interference after voting down amendment

  • Canadian Press

The Senate has passed a government bill intended to help deter, investigate and punish foreign interference. An overall view of the Senate is shown in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA -- The Senate has passed a government bill intended to help deter, investigate and punish foreign interference.

Senators approved the legislation late Wednesday after voting down a proposed amendment aimed at ensuring innocent people are not swept up in its net.

The legislation, which awaits royal assent, will introduce criminal provisions against deceptive or surreptitious acts, allow for the sharing of sensitive information with businesses and establish a foreign influence transparency registry.

The bill recognizes that states and other foreign entities that engage in meddling to advance political goals might employ people to act on their behalf, without disclosing those ties.

The transparency registry would require certain individuals to register with the federal government to help guard against such activity.

Civil society groups called for more time to consider the legislation -- introduced in the House of Commons less than seven weeks ago -- saying the rush could could result in flawed provisions that violate people's rights.

This report by was first published June 20, 2024.