Factbox-Canadian probes alleged Chinese interference in elections

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows printed Chinese and Canada flags
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By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) - Canada is starting to lay the groundwork for a foreign agent registry amid media reports of alleged Chinese meddling in the country's last two elections, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said on Friday.

Canadian authorities have started several invstigations into the allegations, which Beijing denies.

Here are some investigations by Canada on the issue:

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR PROBE

Trudeau said on March 6 he will appoint an independent special investigator to probe alleged election interference by China. The independent special rapporteur will be an "eminent Canadian" and will have power to make recommendations on foreign interference including a public inquiry, Trudeau said.

PARLIAMENTARY PANEL PROBE

Trudeau has also asked lawmakers in parliament's national security watchdog to start a probe. The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) will report its findings to parliament.

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES' THREAT-HANDLING PROBE

The Canadian prime minister has asked another oversight agency, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), to conduct a review of how Canada's national security agencies handled the threat of foreign interference in Canada's elections, especially "around the flow of information from national security agencies to decision makers." The agency will also report its findings to parliament.

POLICE PROBE INTO MEDIA LEAKS

Police said they were investigating media reports that cited secret intelligence, alleging Chinese interfere in Canada's elections, for potential violations of information security laws. The police has indicated its probe is targeted only on the information leaks and not on the allegations of Chinese interference. The Security of Information Act, which was previously known as the Official Secrets Act, deals with protecting sensitive government information.

MEDIA LEAKS PROBE BY CANADA'S SPY AGENCY

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has said CSIS and other domestic security partners were also investigating the sources of the media leaks.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Angus MacSwan)