Singh Suddenly Sees The Bias In Johnston Report, Now Also Calls For Special Rapporteur To Resign

It seems it’s just dawning on New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh what the impact of the situation is related to the recently released independent report by Special Rapporteur David Johnston on the alleged interference by the Chinese Communist Party during the national elections in 2019 and 2021.

In a press conference, Singh announced that his party will be pushing for a motion calling for Johnston’s resignation.

“Given the clear apprehension of bias at this point, we are going to be asking for Mr. Johnston to step aside as special rapporteur,” Singh said.

The party leader cited the “donating record of the chief counsel [Johnston] engaged” as one of the examples of the “mounting appearance of bias” they’ve observed, hence the call for the rapporteur’s step down.

Singh was referring to Toronto-based lawyer Sheila Block, who assisted Johnston in determining whether to establish a public inquiry into the Liberal government’s response to claims of Chinese meddling. According to federal contributor records, Block donated $7,593.38 to the Liberal Party of Canada between 2006 and 2022, but not to any other federal party.

“The whole first section of [Johnston’s] first report is about how important it is that everything appears to have integrity, otherwise the public, justifiably, does not have confidence in the integrity of politics,” Democracy Watch director Duff Conacher said. “It smells really badly that David Johnston, old friend of [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau, is investigating Trudeau — and it makes it smell even worse that the key adviser he selects seems to be a long-time donor only to the Liberal party.”

In his first report, Johnston said a public process on the subject of foreign influence is essential, but not in the form of a public inquiry. Instead, he proposed that he will organize “a series of public hearings with Canadians” to shed more light on the “problem of foreign interference” and teach the public and policymakers about the harm it poses, as well as solutions to resolve it as soon as possible.

Trudeau administration supported the rapporteur’s findings, while both Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre and Singh demanded public inquiry.

On top of asking for Johnston’s resignation, Singh’s party will also push for holding a public inquiry on foreign interference in Canadian elections.

“We’ll also be again calling for a public inquiry. It has been our position… We believe a public inquiry–the rigor and the scrutiny of a public inquiry–is the only path to re-instill confidence in our electoral system,” Singh said in the press conference.

Singh’s realization of bias in Johnston’s report comes after learning that NDP MP Jenny Kwan has been informed that she is also being targeted by the Communist State. In the same press conference before Singh called for Johnston’s resignation, Kwan said that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has warned her that she is under the radar of the Chinese government because of her criticism in Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and its repression of Uyghurs.

Before this, one of the known targets by the Chinese government, according to CSIS, is Conservative MP Michael Chong. Chong stated that he was “profoundly disappointed” to learn of the potential threat to his family in Hong Kong from a publication that quoted intelligence assessments from 2021, instead directly from the Canadian intelligence.

The Canadian government earlier this month banned Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, who was allegedly the one targeting Chong on behalf of the Chinese government.

Poilievre, on the other hand, has been calling for the same thing regarding the special rapporteur role, demanding that the matter be handled with a fully independent public inquiry.

Now with Singh joining the call for resignation and public inquiry, Poilievre turned the discussion to the standing pact between the ruling Liberal Party and the NDP.

“He has said that he wants a public inquiry,” Poilievre said in his speech. “Well, now is the time for him to prove it… Either the government calls for a public inquiry or he breaks off his coalition.”

This could put to a stress test the supply-and-confidence agreement reached by the NDP and Liberals a year ago. In exchange for the government acting on major NDP goals, the NDP is supporting the Liberal-led government on budgets and other votes that are automatically seen as confidence votes.

However, Singh instead focused on talking about the budding Windsor electric vehicle battery factory negotiations with Stellantis.

Rather than asking the federal government to launch a public inquiry and designate someone to conduct it, Johnston intends to carry out the task himself in the five months remaining on his term.

During these hearings, Johnston plans to speak with and hear from Canadians, particularly those in diaspora communities, as well as current and former government officials, knowledgeable experts, and “other interested parties” about foreign interference and ways to improve Canada’s response to it.

“This will be a public process, but not a public inquiry, as I do not need the subpoena powers provided by the Inquiries Act to gather this information and encourage public attention on these matters,” Johnston wrote in his report.

Information for this briefing was found via the National Post and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Singh Suddenly Sees The Bias In Johnston Report, Now Also Calls For Special Rapporteur To Resign

  • May 30, 2023 12:08 PM at 12:08 pm

    Its make or break for singh to show he has a spine, and cause an election where he compares the best yet to jt in polls, dissolving parliament on a principled issue we should all be concerned about.


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