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Lawmakers in Canada’s Parliament are in uproar over the release of a classified report this month that showed extensive foreign interference by China and India in Canadian democracy, Bloomberg reported.

The report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) alleges that some lawmakers accepted money and colluded with foreign officials. It said foreign powers, primarily China and India, have attempted to interfere in Canadian politics, businesses, nonprofits and academic institutions.

The committee has not yet revealed the specific names and actions of the accused, prompting some lawmakers to demand transparency and accountability.

Center-left New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh called the suspects “traitors” and called for their prosecution. Singh criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for being lenient on foreign interference, citing instances where the government failed to act on intelligence about Chinese meddling in elections.

He also accused Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre of ignoring the issue, despite evidence that Conservative leadership races were also targeted. Poilievre, who has a significant lead over Trudeau in opinion polls, called for the government to name the implicated individuals.

The government countered that disclosing names would compromise sensitive sources and methods, and potentially damage the reputations of lawmakers without due process. Instead, government officials urged opposition leaders to obtain the necessary security clearances to review the unredacted report.

The allegations of foreign interference have prompted widespread debate on how to protect Canada’s democracy. Intelligence agencies have long warned of such threats, but the latest report is the most direct and alarming yet, the Washington Post added.

Trudeau ordered the NSICOP to launch the probe in response to previous reports of Chinese meddling in the 2019 and 2021 elections. The committee confirmed attempts to influence election outcomes, although they said they did not alter the final results.

Despite the gravity of these accusations, the committee noted the challenges in prosecuting such activities due to the need to protect classified information in court.

Analysts suggested that party leaders must take decisive action against implicated legislators to uphold national security and democratic integrity.

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