Commission on Foreign Interference Releases Decision on Applications for Standing
Dec 4, 2023 (Ottawa) – The Honourable Marie-Josee Hogue, Commissioner of the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, has released her decision on the applications for standing that the Commission received.
The Commission received 55 applications for standing from citizens, associations, organizations, academics, politicians and political parties. Four of the applications were later withdrawn.
Twenty-two individuals and groups have been granted standing, either as a Party in the factual inquiry, as an Intervener in the factual inquiry, and/or standing in the Policy phase of the inquiry.
Among those granted Party standing are the Government of Canada, the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, several politicians, and a number of organizations representing diaspora groups.
A number of other politicians, political parties, diaspora groups, and non-governmental/civil society groups were granted Intervener standing.
A coalition representing several media outlets and an organization advocating for the public’s right to information were granted standing with respect to the public hearings contemplated by paragraph (a)(i)(D) of the Commission’s Terms of Reference.
“I am conscious that giving standing to a political party in a public inquiry should be done only after careful consideration and with the appropriate safeguards to ensure the inquiry does not become a platform for partisan talking points, grandstanding or scorekeeping,” Commissioner Hogue wrote. “I will not permit the Inquiry to become a platform for partisan debate.”
“I hope that all the Applicants concerned will cooperate so that the process will be efficient and allows as many people as possible to express their views, which I believe is in the public interest,” she continued.
In her decision, the Commissioner noted that there are many other ways to participate in the Commission’s work other than receiving a grant of standing.
“Neither standing nor the opportunity to testify will be necessary to participate in the Commission's public activities and information gathering, as the Commission intends to set up a public consultation process,” Commissioner Hogue wrote in her decision. “Thus, those who wish to do so will be able to communicate their point of view and the information they deem relevant as part of this process.”
A list of all the applicants and those granted standing are included as appendices in the Commissioner’s decision.
The Commissioner will address requests for funding in a separate decision, which she expects to release shortly.
The Government of Canada created the Foreign Interference Commission to respond to concerns about foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. The Commission will also examine the flow of information within the federal government in relation to these issues, evaluate the actions taken in response, assess the federal government’s capacity to detect, deter, and counter foreign interference, and make recommendations on these issues. The Commission will complete an interim report due by February 29, 2024 and deliver its final report by December 31, 2024.
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Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions
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