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Foreign interference may have changed the result in one riding, inquiry finds

OTTAWA — A public inquiry has found foreign meddling attempts didn’t change who won the last two elections, but they may have changed the result in one riding in 2021.

A preliminary report by commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue says the impact of foreign interference in particular ridings is uncertain, but the number of races impacted is small.

She singled out the 2021 results in the British Columbia riding of Steveston—Richmond East, where there there’s a “reasonable possibility” that a potential foreign interference campaign against Conservative candidate Kenny Chiu may have cost him the seat.

Misleading information about Chiu and former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole appeared in media outlets and social media sites with ties to Beijing, painting them as anti-China, and attempting to dissuade Chinese Canadians from voting for them. 

The commission also scrutinized a 2019 Liberal nomination race in the Ontario Don Valley North riding, but Hogue says there wasn’t enough evidence to determine what actually happened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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