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Part 2: Information Specific to Addressing Foreign Interference in ElectionsElections Canada Institutional Report – Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions

2.1 Key provisions of the Canada Elections Act and recommendations from the Chief Electoral Officer pertaining to foreign interference

CEA rules

The CEA does not define "foreign interference." Rather, it describes activity that can fall under the umbrella of foreign interference, and it prohibits the involvement, in specific ways, of foreign individuals and entities in our elections.1

Only Canadians can vote or run for office in federal elections. But there are a variety of ways in which non-Canadians can participate in the process, including, for example, by working in a local Elections Canada office during an election period. Important too is that non-Canadians can become members of registered political parties. Voting in nomination and leadership contests is not in any way prescribed under the CEA; therefore, non-citizens can vote in these contests as party members, subject to internal party rules and controls.

Only Canadians and permanent residents can make contributions to political parties, candidates, nomination contestants, leadership contestants and electoral district associations. Contributions to these entities by anyone other than Canadians and permanent residents are prohibited. This includes a ban on corporate and union contributions.

Individuals who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, as well as businesses and other organizations that operate in Canada, can make contributions to a third party (any individual or group other than the aforementioned listed political entities) for regulated activities.2 Note that unlike contributions to candidates, registered parties and other entities, there are no limits on the amount an eligible contributor may make to a third party. A third party can make a contribution to another third party as long as, depending on the context of the transaction, it is not an attempt by the third party to circumvent the limit on regulated expenses.

To register as a third party:

  • An individual must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or someone who resides in Canada.
  • A corporation must either carry on business in Canada and be incorporated in Canada or carry on business in Canada but be incorporated outside Canada (as long as its primary purpose in Canada is not to influence electors).
  • A group must include at least one person responsible for the group who is a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or someone who resides in Canada.

A registered third party is prohibited from using foreign funds to pay for regulated expenses during an election, but is not restricted in using its general revenues, which may have mixed with foreign funds, as long as those funds were not obtained for the purpose of conducting regulated activities. (These are "partisan activities" and some "election surveys" as well as "election advertising," as defined in the CEA). All third parties are prohibited from using foreign funds (subject to the same caveat as above) at any time (during or outside an election) to conduct advertising that promotes or opposes a party, its leader, a candidate, a potential candidate or a nomination contestant other than by taking a position on an issue with which a party or person is associated.

The CEA also prohibits certain activities representing "undue influence by foreigners" if expenses are incurred for the activities to promote or oppose a candidate or political party during an election period (or the activities contravene other federal or provincial laws or regulations). This prohibition applies to a foreign government or entity as well as persons who are not citizens or permanent residents. It is important to note that this prohibition does not apply if no expense is incurred for the promotion or opposition to the party or candidate. Furthermore, the CEA notes that if the only thing done by the foreigner is expressing an opinion about the desired outcome of the election, a statement encouraging an elector to vote or not vote either in general or for a particular party or candidate, or transmitting an editorial, debate, speech, interview, column, letter, commentary or news, regardless of the expense incurred, there is no offence.

Ways that non-Canadians are permitted, under the Canada Elections Act, to participate in federal elections3
Canadian citizen Permanent resident4 Individual who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident
Residing in Canada Residing outside Canada Residing in Canada Residing outside Canada
Voting in a federal election Permitted if at least 18 years old on election day Permitted if at least 18 years old on election day and if previously resided in Canada Not permitted Not permitted Not permitted
Being a candidate in a federal election Permitted, if at least 18 years old on election day5 Permitted, if at least 18 years old on election day5 Not permitted Not permitted Not permitted
Making a contribution to a registered party, an electoral district association, a candidate, a nomination contestant or a leadership contestant Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Not permitted Not permitted
Making a contribution to a third party for the purpose of the third party's regulated activities under the Canada Elections Act Permitted Permitted Permitted Not permitted6 Not permitted6
Being an individual third party or incurring expenses for a third party's regulated activities under the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Permitted, within the limits set out in the Canada Elections Act Not permitted
Without incurring any expense regulated by the Canada Elections Act, either
  1. expressing an opinion about the outcome or desired outcome of an election, or
  2. making a statement that encourages an elector to vote or refrain from voting for any candidate or registered party in an election.
Permitted Permitted Permitted Permitted Permitted
Regardless of the expense incurred in doing so, transmitting to the public, through broadcasting or through electronic or print media, an editorial, a debate, a speech, an interview, a column, a letter, a commentary or news7 Permitted Permitted Permitted Permitted Permitted

Other aspects of the legislative regime are not specifically related to foreign interference, but can have an important impact on protecting Canada's electoral process from bad actors, foreign or domestic (e.g. rules against impersonation and improperly influencing voters8). Canada also enjoys a very comprehensive political financing regime, which includes low thresholds for public (or online) disclosure of contributors (over $2009) as well as contribution and expenses limits and a high degree of transparency. Transparency includes comprehensive public reporting of contributions and expenses and the prohibition of cash contributions over $20.

CEO's recommendations

In his June 2022 Recommendations Report to the Speaker of the House of Commons,10 the CEO made a number of recommendations that would provide additional tools for combatting foreign interference in Canadian elections. They include the following:

  • Recommendation 2.3.1 proposes a regime to more effectively prevent the use of foreign funds by third parties.
  • Recommendation 4.1.1 proposes to prohibit knowingly making false statements about the voting process in order to disrupt the conduct of an election or to undermine the legitimacy of an election or its results.
  • Recommendation 4.2.1 proposes expanding the rules on "undue influence by foreigners" to the pre-writ period.
  • Recommendation 5.1.1 proposes to require online platforms to publish their policies on the administration of paid electoral communications and on user accounts during the pre-election and election periods as well as how they will address certain content that misleads electors.
  • Recommendation 8.4.1 proposes to ban the use of untraceable instruments, such as prepaid credit cards, and to adopt specific rules for contributions using cryptocurrencies.

As the environment evolves, the CEO will continue to examine other potential recommendations that may help to address foreign interference in Canadian elections.

2.2 Institutional relationships between Elections Canada and federal security partners related to potential threats to elections

Electoral security is a shared responsibility

During and between general elections, Elections Canada maintains relationships and shares information on security threats with federal and/or national security agencies. This relationship allows the agency to identify broader overall security trends and maintain a robust security posture.

Elections Canada has ongoing relationships with individuals at the Director General (DG), Associate Deputy Minister (ADM) and Deputy Minister (DM) levels from the PCO, Public Safety Canada, CSIS, the CSE, Global Affairs Canada, the RCMP and the Commissioner of Canada Elections. These relationships include membership in an Electoral Security Coordinating Committee (ESCC), established before the 43rd GE, at each of these three levels.11 The committees meet on an ongoing basis, including between elections, to share information and education, carry out scenarios and tabletop exercises and provide direction for ensuring interagency collaboration, coordination and systems preparedness as it relates to electoral security.

The visual below illustrates the structure of the committees.

Infographic illustrating the structure of committees involved in responding to matters of electoral security. Described under this graphic.

Image description

Infographic is organized into three arrows making box shapes that point to the right in a staircase pattern ascending upwards. A graphic to the left of the three arrows displays a hand holding a ballot, inserting it into a ballot box with a maple leaf on the front with text Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections Task Force underneath it, also called the SITE Task Force. Below this text are symbols for the CSE (Communications Security Establishment), CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), GAC (Global Affairs Canada) and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

Underneath the first arrow is text that says DG (Director General)-level engagement: DG Elections Security Coordinating Committee, DG cyber ops, DG Emergency Response Committee. Next to this arrow is a second arrow placed slightly above the first. Underneath the second arrow is text that says ADM (Assistant to the Deputy Minister)-level engagement: Adm Elections Security Coordinating Committee, ADM ad hoc cyber, ADM national security ops. Next to the second arrow is a third arrow placed slightly above the second arrow. Underneath the third arrow is text that says DM (Deputy Minister)-level engagement: DM Elections Security Coordinating Committee, DM Operations Committee. If a threat to electoral security is detected, these are how the committees between agencies are consulted and organized.

At the end of the third arrow are three rectangular boxes organized in a column. The first box has text saying Panel: Clerk of Privy Council, National Security Advisor, Deputy Ministers of Justice, Public Safety and Foreign Affairs. To the right of this box is a maroon circle with text that says, Makes a public announcement. The second box has text saying, Commissioner of Canada Elections. The third box has text saying, Chief Electoral Officer. To the right of the third box is a maroon circle with text that says, Makes a separate announcement. After the committees are engaged, the matter is referred to the listed agencies, who determine whether to make an announcement to the public.

With the support of national security and intelligence agencies, Elections Canada can focus on its top priority: administering elections and making sure that Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to register, vote and be a candidate.

Here are the cornerstones of electoral security in Canada's federal electoral system.

  • Security agencies and partners

    Support Elections Canada by providing environmental awareness of threats, protecting/monitoring Elections Canada's IT infrastructure and monitoring and investigating foreign interference.

  • Elections Canada

    Administers federal elections and implements various safeguards before, during and after an election.

  • Commissioner of Canada Elections

    Investigates potential contraventions of the Canada Elections Act.

  • Electors, political entities, other organizations

    Electoral security requires a whole-of-society approach.

Election-specific mechanisms

In addition to the ongoing collaboration described above, the Government of Canada (GoC) has implemented mechanisms that are specific to electoral events.

Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections Task Force

On January 30, 2019, the government announced its plan to safeguard the 43rd GE, including by creating the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, which the government explained would work to identify and prevent covert, clandestine, or criminal activities from influencing or interfering with the electoral process in Canada.12

The SITE Task Force, which includes the CSE, CSIS, Global Affairs Canada and the RCMP, works independently to identify such activity and would inform Elections Canada if a threat could affect the agency's ability to administer an election.

Rapid Response Mechanism

Canada's Rapid Response Mechanism, established following the 2018 G7 summit and based at Global Affairs Canada, monitors the digital information environment for foreign-state-sponsored disinformation. This includes acting as an early warning system for the SITE Task Force during general election cycles.

Critical Election Incident Public Protocol

A Critical Election Incident Public Protocol was also established for election periods, during which Cabinet ministers' activities are generally restricted (owing to the caretaker convention13). If the government becomes aware of an interference attempt during an election, heads of national security agencies will brief senior public servants (the Panel), who will then notify the Prime Minister, political party officials and Elections Canada. If interference reaches a certain threshold, as defined in the Protocol, a public announcement will be made to inform Canadians about any incident that threatens the integrity of the election.

Both the mandate of the Panel and the absence of the CEO from its membership reflect the CEO's independence from the government of the day. Accordingly, as explained in the Cabinet directive,14 the Panel is not called upon to speak to matters that relate to the mandate of the CEO (and, conversely, the CEO is not called upon to speak to matters falling outside his role). To be clear, under the protocol, no announcement would be made if a matter related to the mandate of the CEO – in other words, matters with regard to the administration of the election, as identified in the CEA. These might include, for example, administration of the vote at polling stations and the counting of the votes.

The visual below illustrates the information flow for electoral security.

Illustration of the different government agencies involved in protecting elections. Described under this graphic.

Image description
Illustration of the different government agencies involved in protecting elections

Infographic is separated into three rows, with text above the first row saying "During an election" and text above the next two rows saying "During and outside of election periods." A graphic to the left of the three rows displays a hand holding a ballot, inserting it into a ballot box with a maple leaf on the front with text "Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections Task Force" underneath it, also called the SITE Task Force. Below this text are symbols for the CSE (Communications Security Establishment), CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), GAC (Global Affairs Canada) and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

Next to the graphic of the ballot box, an arrow points to a box that says "Panel: Clerk of Privy Council, National Security Advisor, Deputy Ministers of Justice, Public Safety and Foreign Affairs." From this box is an arrow with the words, "If the threat requires a public announcement" which points to another box that lists "Political Parties, Elections Canada, Prime Minister." An arrow points from this box to a red circle with text that says "Panel makes an announcement." If a threat is detected during an election, these agencies report to this panel, who in turn will inform Elections Canada and other agencies if the threat requires a public announcement.

The second row begins with an arrow with text saying, "If there are potential violations of the Canada Elections Act," and points to a box with text saying "Commissioner of Canada Elections." The third row directly underneath the second row begins with an arrow with text saying "If threats or information relates directly to electoral administration matters" and points to a box with text saying "Elections Canada." At the end of the two rows is a red circle with text that says "Makes a separate public announcement." Outside of an election, the SITE task force does not exist, but the agencies will report to the Commissioner of Canada Elections if they detect a threat. The agencies will inform Elections Canada of the threat only if it will interfere with administering an election.

2.3 Complaints or reports of alleged foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th GEs received by officials at Elections Canada

Elections Canada's database contains records of all the complaints received during the 43rd and 44th GEs. Information can be sorted by category of complaint based on the wording used by the complainant, including the words "foreign interference."

Elections Canada defines complaints very broadly as any expression of concern or dissatisfaction it has received, over a number of channels of communication (including by telephone, by email and on a form filled in on its website or at a local Elections Canada office), on any aspect of an election, including the rules in the CEA, Elections Canada's administration of the election or the behaviour of others, including candidates, parties and third parties. This broad definition is reflected in the large number of complaints described below.

Complaints received by Elections Canada are sent to the Commissioner of Canada Elections if they appear to allege violations of the CEA. Elections Canada does not verify the information in a complaint before sending it to the Commissioner. As the Office of the Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the CEA, it is the appropriate office to respond to allegations in this area.

Elections Canada received 18,889 complaints during the 43rd GE and 16,984 during the 44th. Of those, 122 complaints during the 43rd GE and 27 during the 44th referred to concerns about foreign interference.

During the 43rd GE, 52 of those complaints were sent to the Commissioner of Canada Elections as being alleged violations of the CEA. During the 44th GE, eight complaints were sent. In both GEs, those cases described concerns related to potential foreign third party financing and potential undue influence by foreigners, with the complainant suggesting that an offence under the CEA may have been committed.

For both elections, the remaining complaints about foreign interference included concerns about international political or social figures endorsing Canadian candidates through social media, which is not prohibited under the CEA; concerns about potential influence, including in robocalls and social media messages, of electors from foreign states (specifically the United States, Russia and China), but again without any connection to a CEA offence; and misunderstanding the identification requirements for electors.

2.4 Elections Canada's monitoring of the digital environment for foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th GEs

Environmental monitoring

During the 43rd and 44th GEs, Elections Canada observed content that social media users were referring to as foreign interference, both in traditional media and on digital platforms.

During the 43rd GE, the majority of social media users' concerns about state-level foreign interference were related to online influence, including bots. During the 44th GE, Elections Canada monitored digital content about the electoral process on 67 digital platforms in 15 languages to be aware of when inaccurate or misleading information was being shared and to correct it.

Activity in the public online environment monitored by Elections Canada from August 15, 2021, to September 20, 2021 included the following:

  • Allegations about what social media users were referring to as foreign interference (whether lawful or unlawful and whether it was, in fact, foreign interference) represented 4.6 percent of the online discourse identified during the 44th GE.
  • The vast majority of these posts did not include any actionable information and were, rather, from social media users claiming that a state or a foreign individual was interfering with the election. These posts were usually linked to an individual's public comments or social media posts or to articles about foreign interference.
  • On average, this activity represented 3.8 percent of daily discussions during the writ-period.
  • None of the narratives related to alleged foreign interference were the most popular on a single day during the writ period.

Elections Canada does not inquire into the source of the information it observes on digital platforms.

Elections Canada also received comments and user inquiries, describing what social media users were referring to as foreign interference, through its corporate social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn). Social media users can either tag Elections Canada while posting online comments, which generates inbound comments, or ask a question to which Elections Canada responds.

For the 43rd GE, Elections Canada received 22 inbound comments about what social media users were referring to as foreign interference. For the 44th GE, the following activity on Elections Canada's social media accounts was monitored from August 15, 2021, to September 20, 2021:

  • Inbound comments about what social media users were referring to as foreign interference represented 0.39 percent of the total comments directed at Elections Canada's corporate social media accounts during the writ period (542 of 140,274 total comments).
  • Inquiries about what social media users were referring to as foreign interference represented 0.63 percent of the total questions answered during the 44th GE (41 of 6,528 inquiries).
  • Mentions of non-state actors, such as foreign activists or former political leaders commenting on the Canadian election or endorsing parties or candidates as being a form of foreign interference influencing the election, decreased in the 44th GE compared with the 43rd GE.
  • Discussions of potential foreign state interference from different countries was a more common narrative in the 44th GE compared with the 43rd GE.

Interactions with digital platforms during the 44th GE

While Elections Canada had interactions with digital platforms, as described below, in that it referred matters to them, it had no way of determining with any level of confidence where reported issues had originated and whether they were foreign or domestic.

During the 44th GE, Elections Canada sent six individual cases to digital platforms—one of impersonation, one sharing the wrong election date and four claiming that vaccine passports were mandatory to vote. Elections Canada also flagged two overall narratives that it had observed on Facebook and Twitter (now X).

When flagging specific narratives, Elections Canada sent examples of the misleading posts to Facebook and Twitter (now X). These narratives argued that:

  • Elections Canada was leaving candidates of a particular party off ballots, and electors could write the name of any candidate on a ballot, including a party leader, to ensure that their vote counted.
  • Electors would be required to show a vaccine passport to vote at advance polls or on election day.

In receiving and reacting to Elections Canada's flags, platforms follow their own protocols and do not report back to Elections Canada. This is why, in part, the CEO recommended in his 2022 Recommendations Report that platforms be required to publish policies indicating how they will address content (paid or unpaid) that misleads electors about where, when and the ways to vote or that inaccurately depicts election-related procedures during the election period.

2.5 Relationships, work and documents shared between Elections Canada and federal security partners related to potential foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th GEs

Collaborative work

In early 2017, following the disruptions related to the 2016 American presidential election, Elections Canada and senior officials in the PCO and CSE began to collaborate, including by preparing for the next election. The group also reinforced cybersecurity protection for the agency. This led to agreements and practices between Elections Canada and CSE to bolster Elections Canada's security posture and ability to respond to cyber threats, as described above.

In advance of both the 43rd and the 44th GEs, security partners were alert and very deliberate in sharing their concerns with political participants through briefings. In February 2019, for example, Elections Canada invited the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and CSIS to a meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties to brief the registered political parties on the threat environment and encourage them to take measures to better protect their infrastructure from cyberattacks.

As described above, since before the 43rd GE, the Electoral Security Coordinating Committees, established at the DG, ADM and DM levels, had met regularly to develop processes and share information about business practices and threats. Simulation exercises were also held to validate these processes. The Electoral Security Coordinating Committees also receive briefings from the SITE task force, which also briefs the Panel.

Before both elections, Elections Canada also received briefings from CSIS that informed it, at a general level, of the tradecraft of certain countries and the interest that some countries may have had in Canadian elections. The information was high-level, and it was understood that if there were something actionable related to the conduct of either election, the CEO would be made aware of such information. This did not happen in either the 43rd or the 44th GE.

Elections Canada worked closely with GoC security and intelligence agencies15 in preparation for and during the 43rd and 44th GEs to align its security practices with the agencies' advice and benefit from the continuous monitoring of its systems that these agencies provide. This work included collaborating with security agencies to ensure that Elections Canada's technological infrastructure continued to adhere to GoC security standards. This collaboration was complemented by the agency's work to prepare for and, if required, act on attempts at electoral interference, whether through cyberattacks or the spread of inaccurate information about the electoral process. At any time, in or outside an electoral period, Elections Canada shares other information that may be of interest to security agencies, including social media monitoring reports or potential cyber incidents.

Elections Canada also maintains working relationships with the RCMP and local police forces to address issues that may arise during an election.

Intelligence reports and documents

Between 2018 and 2022, Elections Canada was given access to a number of intelligence reports from its security partners on foreign threat activities of possible relevance to the conduct of the 43rd or 44th GE, including the following:

  • Threat and risk assessments of a set of foreign and domestic actors.
  • Reports about generalized practices that foreign actors leverage to potentially influence various groups, including their own diaspora.
  • Cyber threats of all kinds.
  • Ideologically motivated violent extremist threats.
  • Non-actionable intelligence reports.

Following best practices in document retention and maintenance, Elections Canada returned all the classified documents provided by CSIS once they were no longer needed. Elections Canada is not permanently in possession of any classified documents related to potential foreign interference in the 43rd or 44th GE.

Evidence of foreign interference

Following the 2022 Global News article alleging foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th GEs, the CEO was invited to appear before PROC as a witness during the Committee's ongoing study into Foreign Election Interference. The CEO appeared three times: on November 1, 2022,16 November 22, 2022,17 and March 2, 2023.18 Briefing binders for these appearances can be found on the Elections Canada website.

Following publication of the Globe and Mail article of February 2023,19 In the limited period of time before the CEO's third appearance, Elections Canada's Political Financing branch undertook a review of returns from electoral districts across the country.20 The review focused on the specific allegation made in the Global and Mail article, namely that sympathetic donors were encouraged to provide campaign contributions to candidates favoured by China - donations for which they then received both a tax credit from the federal government and a return from the campaign of the difference between the contribution and the tax credit.

Elections Canada reviewed the information available related to contributions in the associations' 2021 annual returns, as well as contributions and expenses in candidate returns from the 44th GE in order to look for anomalies.

No systematic scheme was detected that demonstrated a repayment to contributors of the contribution amount less the tax credit, as alleged in the article.  However, it is important to note that the capacity to identify this type of transaction is limited by the information available in the financial returns (names and addresses), the lack of detailed expense reporting by electoral district associations and its ability to seek supporting documents from electoral district associations.

As the CEO told PROC members during their study into Foreign Election Interference, while he did receive briefings on the level of risk before the 43rd and 44th GEs, he did not receive any information about specific actions related to foreign interference that may have taken place during those elections.

Additionally, during the past two general elections, Elections Canada did not experience any breaches to its IT infrastructure. The agency is also unaware of any efforts by foreign actors to undermine the ability of electors to vote.

Footnotes

1 For sections the CEA that specifically address conduct related to foreign individuals or entities, see 282.4, 330, 349.01, 349.03, 349.4, 351.1.

2 "Regulated activities" refers to "partisan advertising" and "election advertising" as defined in s. 2(1) of the CEA, and "partisan activities" and "election surveys" as defined in s. 349 of the CEA.

3 This information is not exhaustive and does not replace the provisions of the CEA or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Candidate nominations and party leadership races are not included in this table because each party oversees its own races and has its own rules. The table also does not cover CEA rules specifically directed at groups or corporations.

4 As defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

5 Some persons are ineligible. See section 65 of the CEA for details.

6 The CEA does not prevent the individual from making a contribution to a third party. However, sections 349.02 and 349.03 prohibit the third party from using that contribution for its regulated activities, whether directly or indirectly.

7 Providing that no contravention of subsection 330(1) or (2) of the CEA is involved in the transmission.

8 The following provisions deal with "improper influence": s. 282.2 (influencing an elector in a polling station or place where voting is occurring); s. 282.3 (election worker influencing an elector); s. 282.7 (offering bribe to influence an elector); s. 282.8 (compelling or attempting to compel by intimidation or duress or influencing a person by pretence or contrivance); and s. 330 (using broadcasting station outside of Canada to influence an elector).

9 For leadership contestant, names and addresses are published for directed contributions regardless of the amount contributed.

10 Document ID ELC0000054. Meeting New Challenges: Recommendations from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada following the 43rd and 44th General Elections: https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rep/off/rec_2022&document=index&lang=e.

11 Information about Elections Canada attendees at the meetings of the Electoral Security Coordinating Committee can be found in the following documents: ELC0000117, ELC0000188, ELC0000192, ELC0000195, ELC0000196, ELC0000197, ELC0000198, ELC0000199, ELC0000200, ELC0000201, ELC0000202, ELC0000203, ELC0000204, ELC0000205, ELC0000206, ELC0000207, ELC0000208, ELC0000210, ELC0000212, ELC0000214, ELC0000217, ELC0000226, ELC0000229, ELC0000231, ELC0000239, ELC0000240, ELC0000241, ELC0000245, ELC0000248, ELC0000255, ELC0000261, ELC0000263, ELC0000265, ELC0000269, ELC0000275, ELC0000277, ELC0000280, ELC0000282.

12 Prime Minister of Canada, "Taking further action on foreign interference and strengthening confidence in our democracy," March 6, 2023, press release, https://www.pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2023/03/06/taking-further-action-foreign-interference-and-strengthening.

13 Privy Council Office, Guidelines on the conduct of Ministers, Ministers of State, exempt staff and public servants during an election, 2021, https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/services/publications/guidelines-conduct-ministers-state-exempt-staff-public-servants-election.html#toc0.

14 Government of Canada, Cabinet Directive on the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol, 2021, https://www.canada.ca/en/democratic-institutions/services/protecting-democracy/critical-election-incident-public-protocol/cabinet.html.

15 The CSE, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (part of CSE), CSIS, RCMP, Public Safety Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Commissioner of Canada Elections.

16 House of Commons, Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Foreign Election Interference, November 1, 2022, https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/PROC/meeting-37/evidence.

17 House of Commons, Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Foreign Election Interference, November 22, 2022, https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/PROC/meeting-41/evidence.

18 House of Commons, Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Foreign Election Interference, March 2, 2023, https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/PROC/meeting-56/evidence.

19 Fife, Robert and Steven Chase. "CSIS documents reveal Chinese strategy to influence 2021 election." Globe and Mail, February 17, 2023, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/….

20 The review consisted of deploying an algorithm to identify electoral districts where political financing data indicated potential anomalies of the type alleged in the media. The algorithm was applied to returns from Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) electoral district associations and candidates from the 44th GE across the country as allegations in the article at the time referred specifically to interference in campaigns as most of them Liberal, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).