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e-4395 (Civil and human rights)

Initiated by LI WANG from Coquitlam, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

    We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to reconsider its proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Registry.
    If current legislation is not adequate to deal with intimidation by foreign actors, the government should consider instead strengthening these laws. We do not believe, however, that a foreign influence registry will meaningfully address intimidation of Canadians and other kinds of foreign interference. A registry is a misleading way to identify sources of foreign influence. It is difficult to distinguish between positive and malign foreign influence, which goes well beyond agents who are acting for foreign governments. Also, a foreign influence registry poses a serious harassment and stigmatization risk for racialized communities. A broad definition of foreign influence could infringe on Canadians’ charter rights while stifling international business and civil society links that are beneficial for Canada. It could also create a chill within vulnerable communities, leading them to withdraw from civic engagement and public service, which will result in their further marginalization. However, if a registry is necessary, it should apply to all countries equally and be based on specific arrangements such as monetary payment between individuals or organizations and a foreign state, rather than on hypothetical or presumed arrangements. Registration should only apply in the case of lobbying government officials and politicians, and not for private activities or general communications. It should not be based on country of origin, ethnicity, business and civil society affiliations, and most importantly, on one’s views.
    Open for signature
    April 14, 2023, at 9:54 a.m. (EDT)
    Closed for signature
    July 13, 2023, at 9:54 a.m. (EDT)
    Photo - Chandra Arya
    Liberal Caucus
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