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Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josée Hogue has agreed to head a public inquiry into foreign interference by China and other hostile states, two sources say.

After months of negotiations, the minority Liberal government has reached an agreement with opposition parties on the terms and timing of the long-awaited inquiry.

There have been months of reporting on Chinese foreign interference including revelations in The Globe and Mail on May 1 that Beijing targeted Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong in the lead-up to the 2021 election.

The disclosure of this meddling prompted Ottawa to expel Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei later that month.

An announcement on the inquiry is expected to be made Thursday by Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who is also Democratic Institutions Minister.

The Globe is not identifying the sources because they are not authorized to discuss plans for the public inquiry.

All-party talks on launching an official public inquiry into foreign interference by countries such as China dragged into late summer as the government reportedly had a difficult time finding an eminent jurist to lead the inquiry.

Justice Hogue does not appear to have a background in national-security issues. Her main areas of practice as a lawyer were corporate commercial litigation, civil litigation and professional liability, according to her Court of Appeal biography

The terms of reference, agreed to by the major political parties, require Justice Hogue to submit an initial report by Feb. 29, 2024, that provides an assessment of foreign interference by China, Russia and other foreign state or non-state actors, including any potential effects on the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

In addition, the report would look at the flow of foreign-interference assessments to senior government decision-makers, including elected officials, during the election periods.

A second report, to be delivered by the end of December, 2024, would also make recommendations for better protecting Canada’s democratic processes from foreign interference. The next federal election is scheduled for the fall of 2025, but a campaign could happen at any point if the NDP were to withdraw its support from a pact with the Liberal government.

Testimony before a parliamentary committee in June revealed that a July, 2021, CSIS assessment warning that Beijing was targeting Mr. Chong and his relatives in China was sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national-security adviser at the time, as well as three deputy ministers.

The three deputy ministers did not read the assessment. Mr. Trudeau’s then-acting national-security adviser, David Morrison, acknowledged that he read the July, 2021, memo, but said he didn’t brief Mr. Trudeau because he did not regard the document as a call to action.

Then-public safety minister Bill Blair also received a May, 2021, top-secret document outlining the threats to Mr. Chong, but he didn’t read it either. Mr. Blair testified that he didn’t receive the note and said it would have been up to CSIS director David Vigneault to bring it to his attention.

The public inquiry’s second report would assess the capacity of federal departments and agencies to “detect, deter and counter any form of foreign interference directly or indirectly targeting Canada’s democratic processes,” according to a copy seen by The Globe.

The report would also look at “the supports and protections in place for members of a diaspora who may be especially vulnerable and may be the first victims of foreign interference” in elections.

Opposition party leaders, who have received security clearances, would be allowed to review unredacted versions of “any classified reports as soon as feasible after their receipt.”

Justice Hogue was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Quebec in June, 2015. She had been a partner at the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault since January, 2014. Prior to that, she was at Heenan Blaikie, where she had worked since 1987 before becoming a partner in 1995. She was also a law clerk to former Supreme Court judge, and later chief justice, Antonio Lamer from 1988 to 1989.

The governing Liberals this spring initially resisted launching an inquiry despite three votes calling for one in the House of Commons by opposition parties, who hold the majority of seats.

Instead, Mr. Trudeau tapped former governor-general David Johnston to investigate Chinese government interference in the 2019 and 2021 election campaigns. His report, which concluded that there was no need for a public inquiry, was widely criticized and denounced by the three main opposition parties.

Mr. Johnston abruptly announced his resignation in June, citing a “highly partisan atmosphere.” This followed revelations in The Globe that a crisis communications firm, Navigator, hired by Mr. Johnston to help with his probe, had previously worked for MP Han Dong, whose conduct was part of the investigation.

Mr. Johnston was also criticized after it was learned that his lead counsel in the probe, Sheila Block, donated $7,593.38 to the Liberal Party between 2006 to 2022 and attended a private Liberal fundraiser in 2021, where Mr. Trudeau was the guest of honour.

Opposition parties had adopted a motion calling for his resignation, saying in their majority decision that Mr. Johnston was unfit for the job because of his long-standing friendship with the Trudeau family and his connection to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

The New Democrats have also pushed to expand the inquiry to include election interference by Russia, India and Iran, which the government, Conservatives and Bloc Québécois agreed to as part of a deal to get the inquiry under way.

In early May, the Prime Minister ordered the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to start briefing MPs about any intelligence on threats to them or their families. His directive was issued after national-security leaks to The Globe about the effort to intimidate Mr. Chong and his relatives who live in Hong Kong.

CSIS later informed former Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole and NDP MP Jenny Kwan that they too had been targeted by Beijing.

Last month, the government announced that Mr. Chong was almost certainly the target of a second intimidation campaign orchestrated by Beijing in May of this year, the same time The Globe revealed that China had targeted the MP and relatives in Hong Kong in the lead-up to the 2021 election.

The Globe produced more than 15 stories based on national-security sources and secret CSIS documents.

These range from a February story relying on CSIS intelligence reports that described a concerted strategy by Beijing to disrupt the democratic process in the 2021 election campaign, to a May story about Mr. Chong and his family being targeted by the Chinese government after he spearheaded a parliamentary motion in 2021 declaring China’s repression of Uyghurs to constitute genocide.

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