Ottawa wants to weed out ‘foreign influence’ even as Georgia’s bill to do the same is shut down by protests encouraged from abroad
In the same week that the entire Western establishment crumbled over a law requiring Georgian organizations that derive more than 20% of their income from foreign sources to register as “agent of foreign influence,Canada has decided to consider its own register of foreign agents – despite the deafening silence from the West.
“We will never accept foreign interference in our country. Today we launched consultations on the creation of a Canadian Foreign Influence Transparency Registry,” Marco Mendicino, Canadian Minister of Public Safety announcement on Twitter on March 10, ignoring the fact that Canada is already a giant melting pot of “foreign interference”. Without it, the minister’s own party (Justin Trudeau’s Liberals) might have had a more difficult election to win.
According to a leaked report from Trudeau’s own Privy Council Office from January 2022, “a large clandestine transfer of funds destined for the federal elections of [People’s Republic of China] The Toronto consulate was transferred to an elected representative of the provincial government through a staff member of a 2019 federal candidate.”Another report by the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Intelligence found in 2019 that “A [People’s Republic of China] The embassy interlocutor founded a group of community leaders called the “tea party” to handpick the candidates they would support and ultimately endorse publicly. »
So now the Canadian establishment is pretending to be outraged, just absolutely shocked and caught off guard. The whole country is a giant tussle for influence between different groups and interests at this point. Politicians play with this influence as it suits them and have endeavored to encourage and promote it through appeasement. And now they want to move the goal posts?
Vancouver’s real estate market is so supported by foreign money that it would collapse without it. Until 2014, Canada boasted of having an immigrant investor program designed explicitly to funnel foreign money into the Canadian system. Now Ottawa is playing the innocent boy scout, claiming he was so naive he just didn’t know that with money comes influence. Politically, this influence can manifest itself in donations to candidates or in more subtle grassroots help to rally votes through community events and outreach.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau keeps saying that diversity is Canada’s strength. “The government is building on Canada’s global reputation as an open and caring society. While we have much to celebrate, many Canadians still face systemic barriers and discrimination based on the color of their skin, their origins or their religion, and we recognize that there is still work to be done to achieve to a truly fair country,“he said on Multiculturalism Day last June. Now, those same contributors to diversity could potentially find themselves facing discrimination and the scarlet lettering of “foreign agent” because of income from outside of Canada, consistent with the kind of globalized world that the Western establishment has long encouraged and promoted?
What about American foreign influence in Canadian politics? Is every Canadian individual or company with US income, investments or interests going to have to declare themselves as an American influence agent? If Ottawa ever dared to do that, then we could all see exactly why Canada has failed to diversify its interests and priorities from the United States at the ultimate expense of its own sovereignty.
The West lost its mind when Russia introduced measures requiring individuals or groups receiving funds from foreign states and organizations to register as foreign agents. That meant the masks would have to fall off of any Western-funded civil society groups that sought to bring about regime change, so they were understandably outraged.
When the Georgian parliament considered a similar law earlier this month, the reasoning was the same as Moscow’s: to allow society to analyze Western regime-change operations disguised as grassroots organizations of genuinely organic people’s movements. It wasn’t long before trouble began in the streets. How shocking that groups who are literally paid by the West to protest have suddenly started protesting, inadvertently emphasizing the need for such a law.
The EU was quick to defend its investment in Georgian civil society. “Creating and maintaining an enabling environment for civil society organizations and ensuring media freedom are at the heart of democracy. It is also essential for the EU accession process and is part of the 12 priorities, including priority 7 on freedom of the media and priority 10 on the involvement of civil society”, he said, threatening any possible Georgian membership of the bloc. What happened to those other EU values of censoring the press into oblivion, as they did with media linked to Russia and denounced as foreign agents when the work of their journalists was denigrated without any specific evidence or due process?
“We are deeply concerned about its implications for freedom of expression and democracy in Georgia,” the US State Department said, denying that the measures resembled Washington’s requirement for foreign-interest lobbyists to register. But, just like in Canada, foreign money and power in the United States is already systemic and deeply rooted in the private sector, where it is shielded from scrutiny. And the Biden administration can also claim to be a champion of free speech, but when it sought to ban Russian-linked media last year, it simply cut off access to US banks. , advertisers and support for private sector companies, which effectively achieves the same goal. result.
The West has long been empowered, encouraged, and enjoyed foreign money and influence whenever it suited and served its interests. And now globalist, multicultural Canada wants to pretend that it suddenly represents an affront to its own values.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.