(Ottawa) The federal opposition parties must work together more to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch the commission of inquiry they are calling for on foreign interference in the federal elections, believes the Bloc Québécois.
In letters sent Tuesday to the leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, and of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May, the Bloc Québécois leader, Yves-François Blanchet, invites them to a joint meeting to discuss the issue.
“I know that you share my concerns about the need to protect the Canadian electoral process from intrusions by the Chinese regime, and to ensure that the confidence of Quebeckers and Canadians in democratic institutions is rebuilt,” he wrote.
Mr. Blanchet reiterates in his brief letters, all identical, that he believes that the establishment of the famous “public and independent” inquiry is a “necessity” and that the commissioner should be “appointed with the approval of the House of the municipalities”.
After weeks of stubbornly refusing the very idea of a public inquiry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this month that he would defer to the decision of a “prominent Canadian” whom he will appoint to the brand-new position of “independent special rapporteur” to decide whether or not such an avenue should be taken.
But the choice of former Governor General David Johnston as rapporteur received support only from New Democrats. The Conservatives and the Bloc questioned his integrity, with Mr. Johnston having been called by the prime minister, among other things, a “friend of the family”, which the latter described as “horrible partisan attacks”.
In any case, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Bloc Québécois consider Mr. Johnston’s work to be almost useless and do not want to wait for his potential green light since the elected opposition members, who form a majority in the Commons, are calling for the holding an investigation.
The Trudeau government denies remaining impassive in the face of attempts at foreign interference. For weeks, its representatives have been recalling that they have set up a committee of experts to examine threats during election campaigns.
The Liberals also point to the creation of the Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security and Intelligence (CPSNR), which is made up of MPs from all parties and senators who all have Top Secret security clearances. Working behind closed doors only, they can therefore become aware of sensitive information.