British Columbia Premier David Eby says he “strongly” suspects that the federal government is holding back information that could help the province protect its residents with connections to India from foreign interference.
Eby says Public Safety MinisterDominic LeBlanc has reached out, saying Ottawa wants to make sure the province has the details it needs to keep its residents safe, “but there has not been good information sharing.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed Monday that Canadian intelligence services were investigating “a potential link” between the Indian government and the murder of Sikh advocate Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, B.C., last June.
In response to the killing, Eby says the priority should be protecting the criminal prosecution process so people can be held accountable, but on the broader issue of ensuring community safety, there’s “a long way to go to share that information.”
Eby says people in B.C. have been “feeling pressure from India,” and he believes Ottawa has information through agencies including the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that could help respond to foreign interference.
The premier says everything he knows about Nijjar’s killing is “in the public realm,” despite a briefing with the CSIS director that he described as frustrating because there wasn’t more concrete information.
“I understand there may need to be reform around the act that governs CSIS in order for them to be able to share this information,” Eby told media.
“If that’s what’s required, let’s make it happen, because the only way that we’re going to make traction on this is by the federal government trusting the provincial government with information and being able to act on it in our local communities.”
Eby made the remarks during a media question-and-answer session after addressing local politicians at the Union of BC Municipalities conference.