Canada adds India to election interference probe

Canada’s relationship with India is getting icier than a car windshield post-snowstorm. 

What happened: For the first time, India has been publicly named as a potential foreign meddler in Canadian politics — with federal investigators now looking into the government's possible interference in the past two Canadian federal elections, according to Bloomberg.

  • The commission in charge of the probe was formed back in September to investigate alleged interference by China and Russia in elections, but has now added India.

Catch up: Tensions between the two countries boiled over back in September when the federal government publicly accused the Indian government of being involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh separatist leader, allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi denied.

  • India responded by temporarily suspending visas for Canadians, which has since been reversed, and forcing more than 40 Canadian diplomats to leave the country.

Why it matters: Adding Modi’s government to an election interference probe could sour an already-tense relationship with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, putting Canada in a tough spot as India’s status as an economic and political powerhouse continues to climb.

Zoom out: Talks had been progressing on a free-trade agreement between Canada and India before the accusations, but experts now say it’s unlikely the deal will move forward anytime soon.—LA