Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed someone he’s called a “family friend” to investigate election interference in Canada in place of a public inquiry.
Last week, 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).
Additionally, Trudeau said he would appoint a non-partisan “independent special rapporteur” to investigate the leaks and allegations.
On Wednesday, Trudeau appointed former governor general David Johnston as the rapporteur, who in 2017 Trudeau called a “family friend.”
Johnston, 81, was appointed as Governor General of Canada by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010. When he stepped down from the role in 2017, Trudeau gave an emotional speech about Johnston, calling him a literal friendly neighbour and a family friend.
“Getting to know someone as a family friend or a friend of your fathers is very different from having the honour of working alongside them,” Trudeau said in 2017.
“So it has been a true honour since the beginning of my mandate to come to know the governor general not only as a friendly neighbour, quite literally, but as a man of integrity who embodies the principles for which our country stands.”
On Wednesday, Trudeau said he’s confident Johnston will be impartial while investigating the election interference allegations.
“As Independent Special Rapporteur, David Johnston brings integrity and a wealth of experience and skills, and I am confident that he will conduct an impartial review to ensure all necessary steps are being taken to keep our democracy safe and uphold and strengthen confidence in it,” he said.