Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will “keep pushing for an independent, public inquiry” into foreign interference

FEDERAL NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Tuesday that Independent Special Rapporteur David Johnston’s decision not to call for an independent, public inquiry into foreign interference “is incredibly disappointing for Canadians who are rightly concerned about our democracy.”

He added: “We thank Mr. Johnston for his investigation but there are still unanswered questions that could be responsibly addressed by a public inquiry.”

Singh said in a statement: “Mr. Johnston suggests that while the government did not willfully ignore information about foreign interference, there are massive communications issues between Canada’s security and intelligence agencies and government departments.”

He noted: “New Democrats have been calling for an independent public inquiry since February when these troubling allegations first emerged.  Clearly, [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau has refused to be as transparent with Canadians as possible from the beginning.
“Canadians need to know that their voice— and their vote— matters. Anything that erodes their trust in our elections cannot be tolerated.”
He said: “We also know that members of diaspora communities have been targeted and subjected to harassment. This is completely unacceptable. Calling a public inquiry isn’t just about protecting Parliamentarians and their families; everyone who calls Canada home should be able to trust that the government is doing everything in its power to keep them safe from threats and intimidation.”
Singh said: “While public meetings can be useful, the powers of a public inquiry are more rigorous – the power to issue subpoenas, require people to testify under oath and allow for cross-examination of the answers provided. Public inquiries have been done in the past that dealt with sensitive intelligence, the Rouleau inquiry is a recent example. We firmly believe Canadians would benefit from a fulsome, public investigation that maintains the integrity of our intelligence that must be kept confidential.”
He added: “There is so much at stake. Canadians are watching and waiting for this Liberal government to finally take action. New Democrats will keep pushing for an independent, public inquiry that gets people the answers they deserve and fully restores trust in our elections.”


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