A panel of senior civil servants Tuesday released their report on the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol, created to address threats to Canada’s elections, and determined that foreign attempts to influence the 2021 federal election did not affect the results.“In 2019 and 2021, the panel, as part of the Protocol, determined that the Government of Canada did not detect foreign interference that threatened Canada’s ability to have free and fair elections,” the report concluded. Although the panel discovered the presence of interference attempts by foreign governments, a senior Department of Public Safety official said Wednesday that the RCMP is not currently investigating any allegations arising from the election.The panel noted that “the national security agencies saw attempts at foreign interference, but not enough to have met the threshold of impacting electoral integrity.” It also recommended that the government amend the threshold at which the panel alerts the public of an attempt at electoral interference from “demonstrable impact on an election” to “potential impact.”The details of the report, as well as the RCMP’s lack of investigations, have led to calls for a public inquiry into foreign attempts at election interference. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s proposed inquiry would focus specifically on Beijing, while the NDP motion calls for an inquiry into all foreign interference with Canada’s democratic process.Poilievre asserted that “Justin Trudeau has repeatedly attempted to deny, minimize and cover up reports of serious interference in Canadian elections, including the 2021 election.”The Liberal government has thus far resisted calls for a public inquiry, and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told the CBC that the Conservative accusations are a “gratuitous smear.” He did, however, indicate that the government would implement the panel’s recommendations. “We need to be ready to put all of the safeguards in place to reassure Canadians,” LeBlanc remarked. “That’s what we’ve done, but we’ll continue to look at ways we can improve it.”

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