Skip to main content


Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault cast doubt on the notion that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government wasn’t fully informed of Chinese state meddling in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, and defended the conduct and the work of the spy agency.

Mr. Vigneault made his comments at the Foreign Interference Commission on Friday, where he was testifying for a second time. The CSIS Director initially appeared before the public inquiry last week, but Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josèe Hogue, who is leading the commission, decided to summon him back so that he could respond to testimony from Mr. Trudeau’s top aides.

Those aides told the inquiry on Tuesday that, during a 2023 intelligence briefing, CSIS had not warned them about interference in the past two elections. Mr. Trudeau himself testified on Wednesday that Mr. Vigneault did not relay specific warnings mentioned in notes prepared for an October, 2022, briefing. The notes dealt with clandestine election meddling by China, and the Canadian government’s lack of strong countermeasures.

In his testimony to the public inquiry, Mr. Trudeau played down the reliability of information gathered by CSIS, including the content of the 2022 briefing by Mr. Vigneault. The briefing notes, which were tabled at the inquiry, said Beijing had “clandestinely and deceptively interfered” in both elections.

Trudeau aide Jeremy Broadhurst told the inquiry on Tuesday that certain messages in the briefing note had never been delivered. “This stuff has never been said to us,” he said. “We’ve never heard language like the stuff that is in this document.”

Mr. Vigneault said he did not make the comments contained in the briefing note because he was discussing very specific incidents of foreign interference with the Prime Minister.

Full story here, by Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife and senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Liberals pledge to crack down on mortgage fraud, corporate ownership in latest housing announcement: In unveiling an overarching housing plan today, the Liberals also laid out more details on their recent push to look at building more housing on lands owned by the federal government. Story here.

Trudeau says he doesn’t understand why NDP is pulling back from carbon price support: The NDP have long been proponents of the climate policy, and even campaigned on it in the 2019 election, but now say carbon pricing is not the “be-all, end-all.” They are encouraging premiers to come up with new ideas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Story here.

Bell executives defend media job cuts in committee testimony, urge Ottawa to level streaming playing field: The federal government has been too slow to aid media companies in crisis, BCE Inc. executives told a parliamentary committee, as they urged Ottawa to speed up regulations that would even the playing field so Canadian providers could compete with global streaming giants.

French Prime Minister defends state secularism, denies interfering in Quebec politics: French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, during a visit to Quebec, told a news conference with Premier François Legault that France shares the province’s commitment to religious non-affiliation. CTV reports.

Former Commons Speaker Anthony Rota urged to explain invitation to Waffen-SS veteran: Conservative MPs presented a motion to the Commons procedure and House affairs committee urging Rota to appear, with his staff, after they said he declined a previous invitation to give evidence. Story here.

Supreme Court rules Ottawa acted dishonourably in reneging on 1877 land promise to Indigenous community: The court also declared that the federal government had shortchanged the community, the Blood Tribe, by 162.5 square miles.

Court rules Ontario health plan must pay for gender-affirming surgery in Texas: The 3-0 ruling by Ontario’s Divisional Court is the first from a court in that province on gender-affirming care – and, in particular, on treatment for non-binary people, a lawyer involved in the case said.

Manitoba mulls changes to daily prayer read in legislature to make it more inclusive: “I’m asking faith leaders and people who grapple with the questions of secularism and what does it mean to be a Manitoban today to look at this opening prayer and say, ‘Is there a way that we could spend this minute that more accurately reflects who we are as Manitobans today?”’ Premier Wab Kinew said.

Conservative immigration policy should focus on the goal of citizenship, Tory critic says: Tom Kmiec criticized the sharp increase in temporary residents in Canada, as a large number of potential immigrants compete for few permanent residence opportunities.

Quadriplegic Quebec man chooses assisted dying after four-day ER stay leaves horrific bedsore: “That whole story is a crying shame,” Steven Laperrière, the director general of the Regroupement des activistes pour l’inclusion au Québec, which supports people with disabilities, told CBC.

Alberta Premier touts proposed law limiting access to federal funds, calling it ‘stay out of my backyard bill’: During a fireside chat in Ottawa today, Danielle Smith said she is hoping other provinces adapt the provincial priorities legislation her United Conservative Party government has introduced. “My message to Ottawa is federal politicians, and the prime minister, in particular, should do his job and stop trying to do my job.” Story here.

‘We’re seeing what we need to see. We just need to see it for longer’: Tiff Macklem explains the BoC’s thinking as it moves toward a pivot: The Globe and Mail sat down with Macklem this week to ask about rate cuts, a possible divergence between the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve, government spending and why central bank officials are sounding the alarm about Canadian productivity. Q&A here.


“I read everything that is put in front of me. A prime minister takes in massive amounts of information and reads massive amounts of documents. I expect anything that is of particularly high importance or relevance to be elevated, and that’s what happens.” - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, today at a news conference in Vaughan, north of Toronto, on his approach to reviewing documents.

“There is no shortage of things that the Prime Minister can do. It’s not a boring job.” - Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, during a fireside chat at the Canada Strong and Free Network conference in Ottawa today, making the case for a federal focus on national priorities instead of areas of provincial jurisdiction.


Today in the Commons: Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, April 12, accessible here.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: In Vaughan, north of Toronto, Chrystia Freeland joined the Prime Minister for a housing announcement, with Housing Minister Sean Fraser.

Ministers on the Road: Out across Canada, ministers continued to talk up housing and affordability. Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault was in Edmonton. Public Services Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was in Quebec City. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan was in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Privy Council President Harjit Sajjan, also responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, was in Burnaby, B.C. Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge was with National Revenue Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau in the Quebec town of Granby, with Mayor Julie Bourdon. The two ministers also made a housing announcement in Sherbrooke. Also, Small Business Minister Rechie Valdez made a housing announcement in London, Ontario.

Meanwhile, International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen, in Mississauga, was scheduled to announce new humanitarian assistance funding for Sudan ahead of his planned visit to Paris on Monday for the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and Its Neighbours. And Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez is in Milan for a G7 ministerial meeting on transportation.

What were they doing? Why did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Housing Minister Sean Fraser pause in a news conference in Vaughan today to look at their smartphones, as if they were trying to get a signal? Globe Queen’s Park reporter Laura Stone explains here. And there’s more here on what was going on.


Justin Trudeau made a housing announcement in Vaughan, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Housing Minister Sean Fraser.


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Ottawa, participated in the sitting of the House of Commons.

No schedules released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.


On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Robert Fife, The Globe’s Ottawa bureau chief, explains main points from the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference, which was convened to examine allegations that foreign countries such as China and Russia had interfered in Canadian democracy. The Decibel is here.


Joan Hollobon: The Globe and Mail’s medical reporter from 1959 to 1985 has died, aged 104. There’s an obituary here by Globe health columnist André Picard.


B.C.’s political blind spot on public safety

“British Columbia’s New Democratic Party government’s blind spot on public safety was on display this week, with the promise of a task force to draft a policy around open use of illicit drugs and possession of weapons in the province’s hospitals.” - The Globe and Mail Editorial Board

Low popularity for NDP and Liberals creates a unique opportunity to unite the federal left

“The federal political landscape is shifting in ways never seen before. The Liberals and the NDP are in a race to the bottom. The Conservatives are targeting ridings held by both parties. Yet this could present a unique opportunity for progressives. Nothing is foreordained. But one possible future could see the union of the left in federal politics.” - John Ibbitson.

Victoria has a problem it can’t solve: homelessness

“But Victoria has become a microcosm of the homelessness problem nationwide. Policy makers can’t make enough housing available quickly enough to accommodate everyone needing a place to live. Every time a place is opened to help reduce the numbers of those living on the street, there are dozens more arriving to take their place on the sidewalks and parks throughout the city. While no one wants to surrender to the problem, we, as a society, may need to adjust our expectations.” - Gary Mason.

The Canada Health Act is 40. Does it need updating, or do we need a fresh start?

“On April 17, 1984, the Canada Health Act received royal assent. The story published the next day in The Globe and Mail was underwhelming – a couple hundred words in the news briefs on Page 4: “The Canada Health Act became law yesterday,” it read, “setting forth a federal prescription for the ills of medicare and leaving the provinces with bitter medicine to swallow.” Forty years later, despite the early indifference, the Canada Health Act has achieved almost mythical status. Yet, it has not aged gracefully.” - André Picard

Justin Trudeau brings That Guy with him to the public inquiry on foreign interference

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the first sentence of his first answer at the public inquiry into foreign interference when it became clear that uh oh, he’d summoned That Guy. You know the guy: Ask him a factual question and the response is a purring, generic values statement so distantly related to the original question they could legally get married. That Guy. He’s around a lot.” - Shannon Proudfoot.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe