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China, Russia interfering with Canadian affairs, watchdog report says

Last Updated Mar 12, 2020 at 8:08 am PDT

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, top right, and China's President Xi Jinping, top left, talk to each other as they and other leaders walk to attend the BRICS emerging economies at the Itamaraty palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool)
Summary

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians report says China, Russia meddling in Canada's affairs

Report singles two countries out for trying to exploit the openness of Canadian society

Report also says China, Russia are trying to penetrate key Canadian institutions for their own ends

OTTAWA — A national security-and-intelligence watchdog says China and Russia are meddling in Canada’s affairs.

In a report Thursday, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians singles out the two countries for trying to exploit the openness of Canadian society and penetrating key institutions for their own ends.

It says they target ethnocultural communities, try to corrupt the political process, manipulate the media and influence debate on university campuses.

Overall, the committee says efforts by foreign adversaries to interfere in Canada’s affairs pose a significant and growing risk.

It says the federal government has been slow to react to the threat of foreign interference and recommends it be addressed in a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach.

The committee, established in 2017, has the authority to review sensitive activities across the federal government.