To some extent, you can only snort in contempt at calling this level of interaction to be "meddling", the same as Russian disinfo "meddling" in our elections. It strikes me as laughably minor compared to the influence that Chinese business have by just threatening to give contracts or purchases to another supplier - I'm sure such threats make our businessmen pick up the phone to call the MP they fund.

For "disinformation", isn't is "foreign disinformation" for America's Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum, to pump out disinformation about climate concerns they already knew were real? For forty years?? It's perfectly legal for Canadian and American corporate properties of foreigners to "meddle" in our elections, always has been; but the influence is still foreign.

Would western countries have shipped all their manufacturing overseas if they loved their own constituents as much as they loved the money to be made for our 1%, by offshoring? That's your real foreign influence.

Unlike so many problems presented to me in the news, which are mostly getting worse every day, China's "influence" on Canada could hardly be less than it is now: we're suspicious and angry at them.

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China ran a multi-million dollar foreign influence operation targeting the Obama administration, hoping to bend Washington towards signing a free trade agreement, allowing Huawei to build the U.S' 5G infrastructure, and to keep quiet on Taiwan and Hong Kong. When they first came across it, the FBI et al dismissed it because they couldn't believe that a state-sanctioned campaign could be so sloppy and directionless.

The reality is that a lot of foreign meddling is sloppy as all hell. But it's a thing we have to resist based on its intent and tactics, not on its actual results.

At least corporations have the common decency to run their democratic manipulation out in the open, so we can address it publicly.

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I think that fiction has drastically raised people's expectations of what spies can do. If you want to read a painful, eye-rolling account of spy projects that never achieved much, try Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes" about the CIA.

The corporations, alas, have been remarkably effective. I'm just finished Nikiforuk's Tyee article on the "failed petrostate" of Alberta, that was lobbied out of tens of billions in royalties...

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Backing up though, at the heart of this whole China "issue" are the fanatical to the point of tedium conservatives trying to bring down the Liberals by any means possible; they are now a coalition of the truly unhinged on Canada's political scene; it's unprecedented and alienating enough to suppress voting, so for them a twofer.

Ottawa, Alberta and Saskatchewan lead the charge with their algorithmically stoked, blinding hatred of Trudeau, the Liberals, and everything they and all progressives stand for. But what they REALLY hate is that agreement they have with the NDP that so quietly and effectively exemplifies the actual, progressive majority in this country, a statistical fact that drives them and their Republican counterparts (who are in the same electoral position) right out of their bloody minds. They have become SO fucking obsessed that THEY themselves are now officially the clear and present danger actively undermining our democracy by constantly undermining trust in government and governance itself, bleating stupidly in anarchic, libertarian fashion about freedumb like a bunch of teenage boys from hell.

Their desperation has become more evident as they become more intransigent and obstructionist, ever more damning baggage causing ever more deflection as the years pass. Mature, reasonable and critical thinking Canadians are swept up in faux-outrage over and fucking over AGAIN in hopes that they forget WHICH side of the political wing actually invented fake news and engineered a "post-truth" society, (did you notice today the most recent variation desperately trying to tweak the precious truth somehow, i.e. "true facts") aided and abetted by Bannon's media strategy of "flooding that zone with bullshit", and fucking social media now tellingly overseen by Musk, poster boy for the unhinged....

They hope that we forget that THEY are the most dangerous party of all because ONLY THEY arrogantly and stupidly deny the reality of climate change; after all, being disproportionately religious, alternate realities ARE their specialty.

So this latest implication to weaken trust in the government is that Trudeau himself messed with elections/our democracy by enabling the subversive, sneaky Chinese to act freely because they apparently favour Liberal candidates as "soft" on China. Never mind what ANY country does with massive market China at this point; conservatives are consistently context (and content) free.

My point is that at such a critical juncture as this, I see you and too many other journalists as very much part of the problem because this is not a game; it's existential. You're missing the forest for the trees at every turn.

Are you really that naive or are you just another fucking libertarian con boy in short pants?

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Your post makes me think a bit about the money alleged to have been given to political candidates. I believe that there is no evidence of the money having actually been distributed to candidates (as the report states). What we don't know is the lengths to which CSIS / RCMP went to investigate this allegation. Did they have warrant access on the accounts in question? Did they simply rely on human or technical sources? Did they exhaust all means at their disposal?

Which leads to an overarching question I have for our S&I community: how well-resourced are our FI investigations? Does our community have a full picture, or are they just seeing small snippets? We haven't heard anything about that yet, and it's fundamental to understanding the problem, and the context of this report.

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These are some solid questions, and I'd be really keen to know. And, I'm not sure if you agree, but it strikes me that this sort of disclosure could be made without compromising sources and methods. ("We served a general warrant to CIBC" or "we asked FINTRAC" isn't earthshattering stuff.) Disappointing that none of that disclosure was made.

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Thanks for that. Will read again when I’m not at the end of an exhausting day. COVID got me started on a lot of alternate news sources. Have ditched many but think I might keep you! Smart and no particular ideological axe grinding that I’ve noticed so far. Thanks for the QOTSA video. Made me laugh after a discouraging day working in mental health. 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌

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