PIERRE Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, on Monday slammed what he called the Liberals’ continued attempts to cover up the truth about foreign interference in Canada’s democracy.
He said in a statement: “Canadians are demanding answers, and the Liberal announcement today that they will appoint a ‘special rapporteur’ and ask the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) to investigate foreign interference is a continuation of their coverup.”
He said: “This is a secret committee, with secret hearings, secret evidence, and secret conclusions – all controlled by the Prime Minister. It will have neither the openness nor the independence to give Canadians the truth about Beijing’s interference in our politics and government.”
Poilievre said: “A so-called ‘special rapporteur’ hand-picked by the Prime Minister is not the same as a true independent inquiry, with the full legal powers granted by the Inquiries Act – including compelling the testimony and the production of documents. NSICOP has been used in the past – and is being used here again – to avoid accountability. It takes place in secret and is controlled by Justin Trudeau. The Liberals also announced today that they will explore the creation of a foreign influence registry, but are still not providing any details or timelines on this.
“Conservatives have been clear that we need a public inquiry that is truly independent to get to the bottom of this while also continuing the parliamentary committee investigation. Even the NDP agree with Conservatives.”
The Conservative Leader added: “Just this morning, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, when asked if NSICOP would be sufficient, said that he ‘[doesn’t] think this should be in any way a private or a secret committee. This is something important that Canadians should have access to… the process should be public, and that’s why I do not support a committee like the one you refer to the NSICOP as an option.’ Jagmeet Singh must stand up to his coalition partner and ensure a full public and independent inquiry.
“Parliament is supreme. A majority of the parties in the House of Commons have demanded a full public, independent inquiry and the continuation of the investigation by the parliamentary Committee. Anything less is wholly insufficient to respond to the gravity of the situation.
“Enough is enough. Justin Trudeau cannot continue to hide the truth from Canadians, and we won’t let him bury the truth either. The Liberals must listen to the will of Parliament and establish an independent public inquiry.”