The Prime Minister continues to rebuff calls for an independent public inquiry.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have one overarching goal in mind for his press conference on election interference:
Look like he is doing something without giving in to mounting calls for an independent public inquiry.
And so, Trudeau’s press conference featured many claims meant to give the impression the government is taking significant action.
He also decried partisanship on the issue – ironic given that the Liberals are seen as the main beneficiaries of China’s interference – before criticizing both former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and current Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.
WATCH LIVE: Prime Minister Trudeau Holds Press Conference On Foreign Interference
Trudeau made two announcements at his press conference:
First, a review of foreign election interference by the National Security and Intelligence Committee Parliamentarians (NSICOP).
Some are already questioning this move:
“NSICOP is actually a perfect symbol for Ottawa.
Parliamentarians are put on a Committee.
Stripped of all the powers they usually have on Committees.
And only able to report on snippets of information PMO gives them access to.
But, sure, accountability!”
Second, the appointment of a “special rapporteur” on election interference, “who will have a wide mandate and make expert recommendations on combating interference and strengthening our democracy,” said Trudeau.
While Trudeau said the special rapporteur could recommend a public inquiry, it’s clear that he’s buying time.
It will take time for the rapporteur – who Trudeau will appoint of course – to make a recommendation, and Trudeau is likely hoping that the news cycle will have ‘moved on’ by that time.
For all of Trudeau’s claims in his press conference, his refusal to push for a full public inquiry gives off the impression that there is much he doesn’t want the public to know.
Photo – YouTube