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Hardeep Nijjar killing: ‘We have stood up for Canadians,’ Justin Trudeau affirms defense of Canadians

Trudeau appeared before the national public inquiry after several days of testimony from members of his cabinet, political party representatives, intelligence officials and senior bureaucrat

Written by  Shefali Kohli -- April 11th 2024 11:11 AM
Hardeep Nijjar killing: ‘We have stood up for Canadians,’ Justin Trudeau affirms defense of Canadians

Hardeep Nijjar killing: ‘We have stood up for Canadians,’ Justin Trudeau affirms defense of Canadians

Hardeep Nijjar killing: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who testified at a public inquiry looking into foreign interference in Canada's electoral process said that his government was firm on the issue of protecting Canadians, including addressing the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead in Surrey last June.

During a hearing of the Foreign Interference Commission which is headed by Quebec judge Marie-Josee Hogue, Trudeau accused the previous Conservative government in the country of being "cosy" with the current Indian government.



Asked about foreign interference during the 2019 elections and redacted parts in the 2019 annual report of the NSI, Trudeau said, "In a public setting, I can't speak to redactions made for national security. But, I will say that the principle that anyone who comes to Canada from anywhere in the world has all the rights of a Canadian to be free from extortion, coercion, interference from a country that they left behind and how we have stood up for Canadians, including in the very serious case that I brought forward to Parliament of the killing of Nijjar, demonstrates our government's commitment to defending the rights and freedoms of Canadians."

"And the suggestion that we haven't and we won't do everything we can to defend Canadian rules and values and defend Canadians from foreign interference is simply misplaced," Trudeau is heard in a video of the inquiry proceedings shared by Canadian media reports.

"Our government has always stood up to defend minorities in Canada and the rights of minorities to speak out even if it irritates their home countries overseas," Trudeau said.

An investigation into the allegations of foreign meddling in Canadian politics was triggered by several media reports that cited unnamed sources and leaked documents.

Trudeau appeared before the national public inquiry after several days of testimony from members of his cabinet, political party representatives, intelligence officials and senior bureaucrats. During the hearing, the Canadian Prime Minister spoke about the measures his government had taken to address foreign interference since assuming power in 2015.

Trudeau also considered that the leaks showcase the dangers of making conclusions based on a single piece of intelligence, without sufficient context and without analysing its reliability. Allegations of foreign interference in the past two general elections - suggestions triggered by anonymous leaks to the media resulted in calls for a public inquiry.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Trudeau mentioned "explosive nature of the media stories, stemming from unsubstantiated and uncorroborated intelligence shared by a leaker." He said, "There are also things that were flat-out wrong."

He stressed that the leaks were of "deep concern" as the government could not correct the record, in some cases, without mentioning the tradecraft Canadian security agencies use to keep people and their institutions safe, according to reports. 

Trudeau said that he received a briefing about Dong's nomination race from the Liberal campaign director in an Ottawa airport lounge during the election campaign in 2019. He said he asked several questions about whether the allegations were substantiated and whether any complaints were made regarding it during the nomination process.

 

- With inputs from agencies

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