ontario news watch

Call public inquiry first, then Tories will suggest who can lead it: Poilievre

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must make the first move and call an independent public inquiry into allegations of foreign interference.

He says only then will the Conservatives provide the Liberal government with a list of proposed names for people to lead the process.

The official Opposition leader made his demand in a letter to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

Poilievre also pledged to propose a mandate and terms of reference for an inquiry within 48 hours of Trudeau making the call.

The Liberals have left the door open to an inquiry, but want federal opposition parties to work together to determine its terms of reference, timeline and the commissioner who will lead it.

All parties agree the 2019 and 2021 federal election results were not compromised, but opposition MPs say a public inquiry on foreign meddling attempts is the only way for Canadians to feel confident in the electoral system.

Former governor general David Johnston had been named special rapporteur to probe foreign interference in Canada’s democratic affairs, but he resigned earlier this month, citing a highly politicized atmosphere.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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