Ottawa: Special rapporteur David Johnston on Tuesday released its initial report into foreign interference allegations.
In his report, the former Governor General said a public inquiry into foreign interference is not needed, but public hearings should be held as part of his own mandate.
The former governor general’s initial report into foreign interference allegations found serious shortcomings in how intelligence from security agencies was communicated to government, but didn’t identify any instances where the prime minister negligently failed to act on intelligence, advice or recommendations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Johnston in March to lead an investigation into the extent and impact of foreign interference in Canada, amid allegations that China meddled in the last two federal elections.
Johnston’s report concluded, based on access to classified documents and security agencies, that specific accusations of interference that have dominated the political conversation were less concerning than media reports suggested.
He said a public inquiry long called for by opposition parties could not be undertaken in public because of the sensitivity of the intelligence, and formal subpoena powers are not required for him to hold his own hearings with diaspora communities, academics and political stakeholders.
Johnston’s work is expected to continue through the end of October, when he is due to present a final report to the government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the recommendations made by David Johnsonton.
In a press conference, Trudeau said he has sent letters to opposition leaders offering them the security clearance needed to view additional classified information.
It’s one of the recommendations made by former governor general David Johnston in his initial report.
Trudeau said all leaders should have a common understanding of the facts.
However, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said former governor general David Johnston’s investigation into alleged foreign meddling in Canadian elections was rigged from the start and has zero credibility.
Poilievre said, “Johnston is shamefully helping the prime minister cover up Beijing’s attacks on our democracy.” He demanded a public inquiry into foreign interference into Canadian elections. — Canadian Press