Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama share a hug on stage in Washington DC in 2016. The relationship was labelled a "bromance". Now Canadians are accusing the American of meddling in Canadian affairs (Jim-Watson-AFP-Getty-images)

American interference in Canada’s election?

Share
Huge Twitter storm after Obama tweet

With the huge scandal in American politics about potential foreign influence in their presidential election comes a whiff of interference in Canada’s federal election, and from an unusual source,

Earlier this year it was revealed that Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, a long-time influential member of the federal Liberal Party, had suggested to Chinese officials that China should use its means to help re-elect Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. That request for foreign interference cost him his job.

Earlier this year long time Liberal John McCallum was removed as ambassador to China after new he had asked China to interfere in Canada’s election to favour the Liberals. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

In what one reporter called “unprecedented”,  former U.S President Barack Obama seems to have stuck his oar into Canada’s election with a pro-Trudeau tweet yesterday.

In it he mentioned Trudeau working on issues like climate change.

Reaction has been swift.

Justin Trudeau immediately tweeted his thanks to his “old friend” and  began using the tweet in a Liberal fund-raising drive

However, a member of Quebec’s provincial legislature, Christopher Skeete, politely asked the American to keep out of Canada’s election.

Member of Quebec’s provincial legislature Christopher Skeete tweeted his opinion that this was American interference (Twitter)

A contributor to the influential magazine Maclean’s responded as well criticising Obama and his claim regarding the climate file. Andray Domise tweeted “The two of these men utterly failed to move the needle on both climate policy and the concomitant refugee crisis it’s about to precipitate. Enjoy your retirement (Obama)  while the rest of us clean up the mess.

Another well-known pundit Stephen Taylor, now connected to the Conservative party campaign wrote. “Canadians were worried about Russian interference, maybe Chinese interference. Looks like the foreign interference in our election was to be American!”.

Federal New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh speaking to reporters said he thought Obama was backing the wrong person. Quoted in the CBC he said. “Mr. Trudeau has really let down people and consistently chosen to help out the powerful and the wealthy over Canadians”.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said Obama was backing the wrong man and that Trudeau consistently helped the rich and powerful (CBC)

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said he wasn’t interested in what foreign leaders are saying and wouldn’t speculate  on why Obama made the endorsement. Some analysts suggest because the Liberals are struggling they may have sought the former American leader’s help.

Another critical reaction came from Conservative Senator Denise Batters who tweeted that a foreigner like Obama could make such and endorsement because of changes to the law made by the Liberals, and suggesting former Trudeau personal friend and close advisor Gerry Butts was involved.  “ Guess this was Gerry Butts’ plan when the Trudeau government repealed section 331 of the Canada Elections Act last year with Bill #C76:“No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting…”

However, whether it would or would not have violated the previous law before the Liberal change, Elections Canada responded to journalist requests saying “All individuals, Canadian or non-Canadian, are free to express their views on any topic during an election. A foreign citizen supporting a candidate does not in itself constitute an instance of foreign influence.”

Further clarification from Elections Canada in an email added ” A foreign citizen speaking at an event organized in Canada does not by itself constitute an instance of undue foreign influence under the Act. Who has incurred the expenses and for what reason would be among the factors that need to be considered before determining if undue foreign influence has taken place. Investigation and enforcement of the Act are the mandate of the Commissioner of Canada Elections and are mainly based on complaints received by the Commissioner

Current polling indicates the front running Conservative and Liberal parties are neck and neck with only a few days left before the Oct 21 vote.

Additional information-sources

Share
Categories: International, Society
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

*

2 comments on “American interference in Canada’s election?
  1. Avatar Jim Crooker says:

    Regarding Obama’s interference in the Canadian Election.
    The Trudeau Liberals are afraid of losing the election and are willing to try anything; no matter how unethical or illegal it is to get votes.
    I hope Canadians realize Trudeau is not the type of person we should have as Prime minister,

  2. Avatar Mehrdad Samzadeh says:

    This is the hypocrisy to the extreme. All the time President Trump was under fire allegedly for allowing Russia to interfere with their election, but what about Obama’s interference with our election?
    What would be the reaction of the these fake news channels,if Trump was recommending Andrew Sheer as the next prime minister of Canada? I am sure President Trump was going to be BBq-ed by Democrats and fake news channel. Really shame on liberals and all these fake news channels who are underestimating people’s intelligence.