Public inquiry into foreign interference to be led by Quebec judge

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OTTAWA – The federal government has appointed a Quebec judge to lead a public inquiry into allegations of foreign interference in Canada’s affairs.

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Two government sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public, confirmed that Quebec Court of Appeal judge Marie-Josee Hogue will lead the inquiry.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who is also Minister for Democratic Institutions, would announce the public inquiry today.

Opposition parties have for months called for a public inquiry into allegations that the Liberals failed to adequately monitor and respond to attempts by foreign states, particularly China, to interfere in Canada’s affairs.

The Liberals initially appointed former Governor General David Johnston as special rapporteur to investigate the matter and promised to follow his recommendations, even as he called for a public inquiry.

Johnston argued against an investigation, saying the fact that so many details couldn’t be released for national security reasons wouldn’t give Canadians the answers they wanted.

Johnston subsequently resigned as special rapporteur, citing the highly partisan atmosphere that had surrounded his work.

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