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China may have tried to discourage Canadians from voting for Tories: report – National

China may have tried to discourage Canadians from voting for Tories: report – National

A federal research unit detected what might be a Chinese Communist Party information operation that aimed to discourage Canadians of Chinese heritage from voting for the Conservatives in the last federal election.

The Sept. 13, 2021, analysis by Rapid Response Mechanism Canada, which tracks foreign interference, says researchers observed Communist Party media accounts on Chinese social media platform Douyin widely sharing a narrative that the Conservatives would all but sever diplomatic relations with Beijing.

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The report, obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act, was prepared just a week before Canadians went to the polls.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals emerged from the Sept. 20 national ballot with a renewed minority mandate, while the Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole, formed the official Opposition.

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O’Toole, who is no longer leader, claimed on a podcast recorded this month that the Conservatives lost eight or nine seats to foreign interference from China.

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Rapid Response Mechanism Canada, based at Global Affairs Canada, produces open data analysis to chart trends, strategies and tactics in foreign interference.

Its work supports the G7 RRM, an initiative to strengthen co-ordination to identify and respond to threats to the major industrial democracies.


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