Original language of petition: English
1. Canada is judicious in its approach regarding when to deploy sanctions, or draws on other courses of action in its diplomatic toolkit, based on foreign policy priorities. Canada continues to work with international partners to ensure that human rights are respected around the world. The Government of Canada tailors its responses to the specifics of each unique situation and, wherever possible, coordinates closely with like-minded allies to maximize the effectiveness of sanctions.
On March 22, 2021, Canada announced sanctions against 4 officials and 1 entity under the Special Economic Measures (People’s Republic of China) Regulations, based on their participation in gross and systematic human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The Regulations impose a dealings ban on listed persons, which prohibits any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada from undertaking a broad range of financial and business transactions with any of the listed individuals or entities. The individuals listed in the schedule to the regulations are also rendered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. These measures were taken in coordination with the United States and the United Kingdom, and in solidarity with the European Union. These sanctions underscore Canada’s grave concerns with the ongoing human rights violations occurring in the XUAR, affecting Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
Canada will continue to call on the People’s Republic of China to fulfill its international human rights obligations and to allow for meaningful, unfettered access to the XUAR so that impartial experts can investigate the situation first-hand. Canada will continue to work collaboratively with partners to address the human rights situation in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet, and will continue to call on China to live up to its international obligations.
2. The government is carefully examining the security challenges and potential threats involved in 5G technology, while recognizing the transformative importance of 5G advancements for continued economic development and prosperity. Canada’s examination considers a number of implications ranging from foreign policy coherence to technical, security, economic and legal implications of 5G.
Canada views this issue as an important element within the context of our key relationships, in particular the United States. Ensuring Canada’s telecommunications system is secure from exploitation from malicious actors is key to protecting our shared critical infrastructure and advancing our shared economic interests.
Canada takes the security of its telecommunications system very seriously. Since 2013, the Canadian security review program, led by CSE, has worked to mitigate the cybersecurity risks that stem from designated equipment and services. While the government cannot commit on specific companies, work will continue in collaboration with telecommunications service providers and equipment vendors to mitigate cyber security risks in current and future networks as 5G technology is adopted by Canadians.
Canada is working with our Five Eyes partners, other close allies and with national security experts to ensure that we take a decision on 5G which ensures our interests are protected and that Canada’s telecommunications system is safe from hostile actors over the long term.
3. The Government of Canada regularly engages with educational institutions and provincial authorities to raise awareness of any potential threats arising from the activities of foreign states on Canadian soil. To support researchers, research institutions and government funders in undertaking consistent, risk-targeted due diligence of potential risks to research security, the Government of Canada has asked the members of the Government of Canada - Universities Working Group to develop specific risk guidelines to integrate national security considerations into the evaluation and funding of research partnerships. These guidelines will be provided for consideration by June 25, 2021. Confucius Institutes in Canada operate in partnership with Canadian educational institutions. Should Canadians have concerns about their operations, the Government of Canada encourages them to engage with the relevant institution and/or provincial authority.
4. The Government of Canada does not tolerate harmful activities such as foreign interference and applies a whole-of-government approach to safeguarding our communities, democratic institutions, and economic prosperity. The Government of Canada is always looking to learn from the experiences of our international partners to see what may be advisable or possible in Canada. In December 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness publicly outlined the threats related to foreign interference, and the critical work of the security and intelligence community in a letter addressed to all Members of Parliament. The Government of Canada is always evaluating the tools and authorities required by our security agencies to keep Canadians safe, while respecting their fundamental rights.
Canada has been leading the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism aimed at identifying and responding to foreign threats to democracy since it was agreed at the 2018 Charlevoix Summit. Since its establishment, the mechanism has focussed on countering foreign state sponsored disinformation, in recognition of the critical threat this issue poses to the rules-based international order and democratic governance. The mechanism’s coordination unit, located at Global Affairs Canada, also supports whole of government efforts aimed at safeguarding the Canadian federal elections, as a member of the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, along with the Communications Security Establishment, the Canadian Security Intelligence Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
There has been an increase in Foreign Interference (FI) investigations at the RCMP over the last few years, which could be attributed to several factors including increased reporting by victims, greater awareness by local police and media attention. It is predominantly the RCMP’s Federal Policing National Security program that looks to identify common activities that could be attributed to FI including intimidation, harassment and threats. This work requires collaboration with police of local jurisdiction and other local partners, as these types of criminality are almost always brought to their attention first. Should there be criminal or illegal activities occurring in Canada that are found to be backed by a foreign state, the Federal Policing National Security program will take the lead in these types of investigations, given the complexity and the classification of information that form their basis. As such, the RCMP can only confirm that it is monitoring and actively investigating threats of FI in Canada.
The Government of Canada’s security and intelligence community is combatting foreign interference threats within their respective mandates. The Government of Canada continues to look for new and innovative ways to enhance the measures in place to address foreign interference.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||2|
|Prince Edward Island||2|