Trudeau Engages Former Governor General to Investigate China’s Allegations of Interference in Elections
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday appointed the former governor general as special investigator to investigate allegations of Chinese interference in Canada’s last two elections.
Trudeau announced Wednesday that David Johnston will take on the role of special rapporteur. Johnston will decide if a public inquiry is needed, and Trudeau said he would abide by the recommendations.
The Globe and Mail, citing unnamed intelligence sources, reported last month that China preferred Trudeau’s liberals to be re-elected in the 2021 election and was working to defeat conservative politicians deemed unfriendly to Beijing.
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The Governor General is the representative british monarch as head of state and occupies a mostly ceremonial and symbolic office. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Johnston as Governor General in 2010, and his term was extended under Trudeau until 2017.
Johnston holds law degrees from both Cambridge and Queen’s Universities. He was a professor of law for 45 years and was also president of the University of Waterloo.
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Opposition parties are demanding a full public inquiry into the alleged Chinese intervention.
Trudeau said all political leaders agree that the results of the 2019 and 2021 elections were unaffected by foreign interference. But he said that even if it didn’t change the results, any intervention by a foreign entity is worrying and serious.
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A group of civil servants recently released a report that concluded there were attempts at foreign interference, but none of them affected the outcome of the election.