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India gets clean chit after probe into foreign meddling in Canadian elections

A panel of Canadian bureaucrats stated that it found no evidence of any efforts by India to influence the national polls.

G20 SummitNEW DELHI: India has been given a clean chit by an official investigation into foreign meddling in Canadian elections.

“There was no interference by India, including funding campaigns, or spreading misinformation during the 2021 Canada elections,” said a panel of Canadian bureaucrats at a Foreign Interference Commission hearing on April 8.

The panel stated that it found no evidence of any efforts by India to influence the national polls. “I do not believe that during the 2021 election we saw evidence of the Government of India using those tools in the campaign,” a polling official reportedly told the investigation panel.

The panelists include former Deputy Prime Minister Marta Morgan and former Cabinet Secretary Janice Charette.

Reports from Canada say that Morgan stated there was nothing to suggest Indian disinformation within the Canadian information ecosystem, while Charette highlighted the absence of Indian government tactics in the campaign.

After Canada’s Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) suspected foreign countries of interfering in their elections in 2019 and 2021, PM Trudeau had set up the panel to inquire into these allegations.

Trudeau has maintained that foreign interference has had no meaningful impact on Canada’s free and fair elections – which is what the senior government officials have said in Parliament.

Trudeau and several members of his Cabinet are expected to testify on Wednesday on foreign interference in the country’s elections.

Asked whether there were any investigations or threats about funding coming from India for the campaign, Rob Stewart, the then deputy minister for public safety, said nothing to that effect was brought to their notice.

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