Minister LeBlanc Unveils Bill to Counter Foreign Interference

Brampton’s MP Ruby Sahota stood alongside Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety while he unveiled new legislation on Tuesday aimed at bolstering Canada’s defenses against foreign interference. The introduction of Bill C-70, known as the Act Respecting Countering Foreign Interference, marks a significant step forward in the Canadian government’s efforts to safeguard its institutions.

Minister Dominic LeBlanc at the podium

Bill C-70 proposes a comprehensive update to several key pieces of national security legislation. This includes revisions to the Security of Information Act and modernization of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, originally established over four decades ago. The bill also seeks to update specific Criminal Code offenses and amend the Canada Evidence Act to establish a uniform approach for protecting and utilizing sensitive information in Federal Court administrative proceedings.

A pivotal element of Bill C-70 is the introduction of the Foreign Influence Transparency and Accountability Act (FITAA). Under FITAA, individuals or entities entering into agreements with foreign principals to influence Canadian governmental or political processes will be required to register their activities publicly in a newly proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Registry.

The Canadian government asserts a strong commitment to defending the country and its citizens from the threats of foreign interference. By enhancing transparency through mechanisms such as FITAA, officials aim to boost the nation’s resilience against harmful foreign influences, thereby preserving Canadian values, principles, rights, and freedoms.

Ruby Sahota emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Foreign interference is one of the most serious threats facing Canadians and Canadian institutions. Unlike when the Conservatives were in power, we have stepped up to meet this challenge by investing in our national security agencies to detect and disrupt threats; and by creating new bodies that help defend our elections. We’re taking action to protect our institutions and the innocent Canadians who are being targeted by foreign actors.”

This legislative initiative represents a critical effort by the current administration to address and counteract the complex and evolving threats posed by foreign entities aiming to undermine Canadian sovereignty and democratic integrity.