Pierre Poilievre says to skip David Johnston’s ‘fake job’, call request
Tory chief says Trudeau’s ‘special rapporteur’ will not get to the bottom of China’s interference in Canada.
When Pierre Poilievre says David Johnston has the “wrong job” and is too close to Justin Trudeau, he’s absolutely right. He is also right that we should move away from the distraction of having Johnston as the prime minister’s “special rapporteur” advising the government on how to deal with China’s interference in Canada’s affairs.
Johnston has until Tuesday to report whether he thinks the Trudeau administration should launch a public inquiry into the matter. The government has already publicly stated that it will heed Johnston’s advice, so anything less than a recommendation for a full forensic examination would be an embarrassment to Johnston and his reputation, and would mean his release from prison for Trudeau.
Today, however, Trudeau supporters are raging online that Poilievre has not met with Johnston to discuss foreign interference. Poilievre has been making it clear for some time that he believes an independent public inquiry is needed. He has also made it clear that he does not consider Johnston independent.
“He was Justin Trudeau’s ski buddy, his cabin neighbor, his family friend, and a member of the Trudeau Foundation, which received $140,000 from Beijing. He has a bogus job and is unable to exercise it impartially,” Poilievre told reporters of Johnston on Thursday morning.
“He just has to hand it over and allow an independent public inquiry into Beijing’s interference.”
That may seem like aggressive language against a former governor-general, but Poilievre’s statement is also completely accurate.
Given his ties to Trudeau, Johnston should have said no when the PM called in March to take on the task of advising the government on the matter. Trudeau and Johnston have described each other as friends. It’s a relationship that dates back decades to when Trudeau was just a kid and Johnston and his family went on ski trips with Pierre Trudeau and his family.
“His three boys were the same age as our five daughters, so we were kind of a ski party at Mont Tremblant every now and then,” Johnston told CTV in 2016.
LILLEY: Did you know that David Johnston skied with Trudeau?
Tories and Block lament the appointment of David Johnston as interference watchdog
In the same interview, Johnston described how he and his wife Sharon became “good friends” with the younger Trudeau when his family moved into Rideau Cottage, which is on the grounds of the Governor-General’s official residence. In addition, Johnston was a member of the Trudeau Foundation, the group of people who appoint the board, and also received a significant grant from the Trudeau government after leaving office to establish his own foundation.
It’s just way too cozy and Poilievre is right when he points that out.
When Johnston’s report comes out, we hope he goes beyond his friendship with the Prime Minister and puts the country above all else. If so, we will see a recommendation for a wide-ranging independent public inquiry into the issue of China’s interference in Canada’s internal affairs.
This should include looking at the federal elections in 2019 and 2021 and issues of all parties, but also go far beyond elections. The threats against Michael Chong and other lawmakers need to be investigated, the illegal police stations set up in Canada and even issues like the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg or the infiltration of Canadian universities need to be investigated.
Beijing is playing a long game in Canada. They’ve been dealing with this for a long time, and we’ve swept it under the rug for far too long.
It’s time to bring it to light and put an end to it. For that to succeed, Johnston has to do the right thing with his recommendations.
https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/poilievre-is-right-trudeau-gave-johnston-a-fake-job-on-china Pierre Poilievre says to skip David Johnston’s ‘fake job’, call request
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