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Chinese interference in elections | Appointment of rapporteur: Bloc and NDP not interested in being consulted

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(Ottawa) The Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party (NDP) refuse to participate in the consultations surrounding the appointment of the “independent special rapporteur” responsible for determining whether a public inquiry into foreign interference is necessary.

According to leader Yves-François Blanchet, it should not be up to this person that Justin Trudeau is about to appoint to determine whether a public and independent inquiry into the matter is necessary, because the three opposition parties have demanded it. in a motion passed in committee.

He thus declined the invitation to be consulted, which he communicated to the Prime Minister in a letter.

“The question today is not whether or not a commission of inquiry should be created in the wake of the revelations about Chinese interference in the last two federal elections, but when it will be created and who will be the commissioner, ”pleads the leader in the missive dated March 14.

The Bloc Québécois will cooperate “fully and wholeheartedly” once the holding of a public and independent inquiry is announced, and will be “happy to submit to you the names of candidates who may be chosen by the House to occupy the position of commissioner”. , concludes Chef Blanchet.

The position is the same in the NDP camp.

“As for names, we haven’t shared any. We believe that it is up to the government to make this decision. What we want is a public inquiry — that’s the only way to get to the bottom of it,” said NDP communications director Éric Demers.

The Conservative Party had not yet announced its intentions when these lines were published, around 4:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Conservative MPs, supported by the Bloc, continued to press in committee to hear the testimony of Katie Telford, chief of staff of Justin Trudeau.

The Liberals have been using delaying tactics there – long monologues not always related to the subject – for days. They take the opportunity to present arguments against the launch of a public and independent inquiry, including the cost and duration of such exercises.

The Prime Minister announced just over a week ago that he would appoint a “prominent Canadian” to decide whether to open a public inquiry into the scourge of foreign interference. He then undertook to consult the opposition parties.

On the sidelines of an announcement in Nova Scotia on Tuesday, Justin Trudeau said the nomination was a matter of “days.”