REPORT FROM PARLIAMENT Liberals Welcome Foreign Influence April 15 2019

Liberals Welcome Foreign Influence

The decision to oppose transparency legislation confirms the worst fears Canadians have about the governing Liberals.

Their vote against Bill C-278, proves the federal Liberals are not concerned about foreign interference. 

They are just using the issue to set up a censorship board for the upcoming federal election.

The Foreign Lobbyist Transparency Act, which I sponsored, was put forward to protect local jobs by requiring full disclosure of groups and organizations accepting funding from foreign entities. 

Knowing where the money to influence the public and office holders is coming from sheds light on whose interests are being served.

I was encouraged to propose this legislation to protect the jobs of my constituents in the working forest.

The forestry industry is a significant employer in my riding, as it is in many other parts of Canada. 

When foreign competitors pay activists to protest our forestry industry, Canadians have a right to know.

It was brought to my attention that certain organizations were repeating false information about the forestry industry in Canada.

Some organizations operate under the pretext of having their anti-forestry activities financially supported by Canadians. 

However, careful research that was only possible by examining tax filings in countries outside Canada confirmed these organizations were being funded by non-Canadians, foreign actors with a hidden agenda.

Already, foreign interests are exploiting Canadian democracy through intermediaries by focusing on polarizing social and political issues, promoting the popularity of one party over another, and working to shape public opinion with fake news and other misinformation.

How can Canadians seriously believe the federal government has the best interest of Canadians in mind with its plan to set up an election censorship board to regulate social media, when it votes against legislation that requires funding transparency between elections?

Thank-you to the forestry workers from across Canada who contacted my office with messages of support.

Thank-you to those municipalities who rely on the working forest to provide local employment for their motions of support.

The problem of foreign influence is not confined to the anti-forestry lobby.

Nor is it confined to those individuals who lobby to support or oppose the building of pipelines, to use a different example.

This challenge to Canadian democracy is not confined to any one country and does not only appear during election time.

It cuts across all levels of Canadian activity.

The ongoing threat between elections is real.

My legislation sought to address the democratic deficit in Canada by requiring funding transparency.