(Ottawa) The mandate of the Commission on Foreign Interference must be expanded to examine the case of parliamentarians who knowingly participated in the clandestine maneuvers of foreign states wanting to interfere in the affairs of the country, believes the Conservative Party.

The commission chaired by Judge Marie-Josée Hogue is expected to publish the list of deputies and senators who are singled out in a report that should be submitted to Parliament no later than October 1.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer made the request Sunday in a two-page letter he sent to Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

The Bloc Québécois has also tabled a motion which also calls for the mandate of the Hogue commission to be broadened to include the conduct of parliamentarians acting under the influence of foreign states. This motion will be debated in the Commons on Monday.

So far, Minister LeBlanc has categorically refused to make public the names of the parliamentarians targeted on the grounds that it could destroy the reputation of people who have done nothing illegal.

In a report released last Monday that is still making waves in the federal capital, the Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security and Intelligence (CPSNR) affirmed that parliamentarians are “half-willing or willing participants” in the efforts deployed by Foreign states to carry out interference activities on Canadian soil.

For the first time in nearly two years since foreign interference became a national headline, the committee turned the spotlight on elected officials and senators.

The CPSNR, however, did not disclose the names of the parliamentarians in question, given that this information is based on information collected by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and cannot be disseminated.

But the CPSNR does give some examples of actions that it considers contrary to the national interest. Some parliamentarians have accepted “knowingly or through willful ignorance” funds or benefits from foreign missions. Others have requested assistance from foreign missions in order to obtain the support of a diaspora during elections. Parliamentarians have provided foreign diplomats with privileged information on the work or opinions of colleagues. Others have relayed information learned confidentially from the government to a known intelligence agent of a foreign state.

According to Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, the CPSNR’s findings “are extremely worrying” and “cannot be ignored.”

According to him, the Commission on Foreign Interference is the best vehicle to shed light on these latest revelations. She could “issue a finding of fact for each case” of parliamentarian noted in the CPSNR report. The perfidious parliamentarians, former or current, would be named in a special report which the Commission should present to Parliament no later than the beginning of October.

This exercise could be carried out while protecting the confidentiality of the sources and information on which CSIS relies to sound the alarm.

“These findings of fact would not constitute findings of criminal culpability, but would be intended to assist the House and Senate in the exercise of their respective privileges, immunities, and powers: to each party whose members may be implicated; and especially to the Canadian public in order to strengthen their confidence in our political institutions,” says Mr. Scheer in his letter.

“The integrity of our Parliament has been undermined by the findings of the special report. Each member of the House and Senate has sworn or affirmed that they “declare loyalty and sincere allegiance” to the Crown which is the source of constitutional authority in Canada. If Canadians want to continue to have confidence in their federal democratic institutions, they must know who broke their oath and betrayed their trust,” he adds.

In an interview with La Presse, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, indicated that he plans to obtain the security clearance required to be able to consult secret information collected by CSIS. By taking this step, Mr. Blanchet wants to ensure that none of his deputies is under the influence of a foreign state.

He argued that the leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, should take the same step to ensure that no member of the political party he leads is in the pay of a foreign state. So far, Mr. Poilievre has refused to obtain this security clearance on the grounds that his hands would subsequently be tied by secrecy.

“I am convinced that there is no one in my caucus who is linked to any influence from immigrant communities. But I want to set an example so that everyone examines their consciences so that in caucus, among themselves, they try to dispose of this issue,” explained Mr. Blanchet.