Foreign Interference Commission Launches Application Process for Standing
November 10, 2023 (Ottawa) – The Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions has issued a call for Applications for Standing by individuals and groups who are interested in participating in the Commission’s work.
The Commission published a notice today with information for those who intend to seek standing. The Commission has also posted Rules on Standing and Funding, and an application form for standing on its website, which it launched today.
Applications for Standing and Funding must be submitted to the Commission by e-mail by November 22, 2023. “Those who seek standing must demonstrate a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of the inquiry in their application,” said the Honourable Marie-Josée Hogue, who heads up the Commission.
The notice published today provides additional details on the Commission’s workplan and the deadlines it must meet in order to complete its work. “The Commission intends to set tight but fair deadlines, and to require all participants to meet them. I am confident that everyone involved will work assiduously and cooperate in good faith,” said Commissioner Hogue.
The Commission plans to call on fact witnesses and experts to appear at two sets of public hearings, which it intends to hold early in 2024 and in the fall of 2024.
Commissioner Hogue has selected Shantona Chaudhury to act as Lead counsel for the Commission. Ms. Chaudhury has significant experience in both national security law and the conduct of public inquiries. She acts as amicus curiae to the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal in matters involving national security, and recently served as co-Lead Counsel to the Public Order Emergency Commission.
“I am very pleased that Shantona has accepted to build and lead a team of highly skilled professionals with relevant experience, including in national security issues and in national inquiries. This expertise will be critical in accomplishing the Commission’s mandate and in meeting its compressed deadlines,” the Commissioner said.
The Commission has posted a list of counsel and other staff hired to date on its website. Others will be added in the coming weeks and months.
The Government of Canada created the Foreign Interference Commission on September 7, 2023 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.
The Commission intends to conduct its work in such a way as to maximize the public disclosure of the information it will obtain, while ensuring compliance with applicable laws and not jeopardizing national security. “The Commission is committed to accomplishing its mandate with independence, impartiality, fairness, and transparency,” said Commissioner Hogue.
Sr. Communications Advisor
Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions