Canada’s senate passes foreign interference bill, now awaits royal assent – National

The Senate has passed a government bill intended to help deter, investigate and punish foreign interference.

Senators approved the legislation late Wednesday after voting down a proposed amendment aimed at ensuring innocent people are not swept up in its net.

The legislation, which awaits royal assent, will introduce criminal provisions against deceptive or surreptitious acts, allow for the sharing of sensitive information with businesses and establish a foreign influence transparency registry.

Click to play video: 'Foreign interference: Growing confusion, contention over alleged meddling in Canada’s Parliament'

Foreign interference: Growing confusion, contention over alleged meddling in Canada’s Parliament

The bill recognizes that states and other foreign entities that engage in meddling to advance political goals might employ people to act on their behalf, without disclosing those ties.

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The transparency registry would require certain individuals to register with the federal government to help guard against such activity.

Civil society groups called for more time to consider the legislation — introduced in the House of Commons less than seven weeks ago — saying the rush could could result in flawed provisions that violate people’s rights.

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