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Opposition rejects Johnston report briefing on election interference


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet joins Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre in refusing to peek into secret information that led a watchdog to recommend against a public inquiry into allegations of foreign interference.

Blanchet told reporters in Ottawa today that the briefing is “a stupid trap”, saying it’s a way for the Liberal government to fix the problem by briefing opposition leaders and then limiting what they can say about what they have learned.

Special Rapporteur David Johnston has recommended the government provide the necessary security clearances for other leaders to see his first report released on Tuesday, including a confidential appendix of the documents he used to reach his conclusions.

The former governor-general said in the report that the intelligence he reviewed must be kept secret, and while he understands that opposition leaders do not want to be constrained by security laws, the issue is too important for the potential future leaders of the country to remain intentionally ignorant. .

Poilievre said he had no intention of participating and did not want to be muzzled, instead promising to launch a public inquiry if the Tories form the next government.

The Conservative leader said today in Toronto that a judge with experience in dealing with national security cases should be the one to decide what information should be kept secret and what could be made public if an investigation is opened .

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also said he believed a public inquiry was necessary, but told reporters on Tuesday he intended to obtain the necessary security clearances to see the full report. of Johnson.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 24, 2023.

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