Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he will not allow for a public inquiry regarding election interference despite elected MPs voting in favour of one.
Instead, Trudeau announced a separate Liberal controlled committee will launch an investigation into foreign interference called National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).
Five out of nine members of NSICOP were appointed by the embattled Prime Minister.
Trudeau had been dismissing the need for a public inquiry and suggested that anyone concerned with Chinese electoral interference is a racist.
Last week, the NDP finally broke ranks with the NDP-Liberal coalition and proposed a motion to have an independent public inquiry investigate the election interference allegations. Conservative and Bloq Quebecois MPs voted in favour of the NDP’s motion, while the Liberals all voted against it. After several amendments, the vote passed 6-5.
But the motion couldn’t compel Trudeau to have a public inquiry.
This decision by Trudeau to refuse a public inquiry effectively blocks the public from learning about what really happened with the alleged Chinese interference in Canada’s 2015, 2019, and 2021 elections.
Also, it likely blocks Canadians from ever knowing what Trudeau knew about the claims, when he knew them, and what he did about them, if anything.
Earlier in the day, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre called for Trudeau to testify regarding claims of election interference. Poilievre said anything short of a public inquiry would be a cop out.
“We’re not going to have a situation where Conservatives are told that they have to be quiet about this scandal, because they’re sworn to secrecy. What we need is a public inquiry that is truly independent to get to the bottom of it, all while continuing the parliamentary investigation,” Poilievre said.
This all follows a number of leaks to the media from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that suggested the CCP interfered in Canada’s last three elections.
In one instance, Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin was told by a Chinese government official that if he donated $1 million to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Beijing would reimburse him – a conversation overheard by CSIS.
Another CSIS allegation suggests that the CCP mobilized Chinese international students to campaign for Liberal candidates such as Han Dong, now MP for Don Valley North, and employed disinformation campaigns through Chinese outlets to influence Chinese-Canadians’ votes.
Prime Minister Trudeau has attempted to downplay these claims. Recently, Trudeau chose his own panel to review the election interference claims by assigning the former CEO of his family’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation to conduct the review, which found that election integrity was held up in 2019 and 2021.
The internal review was not released to the public, and is separate from a public inquiry.
On Wednesday, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation returned a $200,000 donation received seven years ago from a CCP affiliate.