Canadian MPs vote to oust foreign interference tsar

4 months ago 56

David Johnston, peculiar   rapporteur connected  overseas   interference, holds a property   league  astir  his findings and recommendations, successful  OttawaImage source, Reuters

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David Johnston has called attacks connected his integrity "baseless".

Canadian lawmakers are calling for the removal of a overseas interference tsar appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Parliament connected Wednesday passed a non-binding question for David Johnston to "step speech from his role" successful a 174-150 vote.

Mr Johnston has been criticised for his ties to Mr Trudeau; the brace were called "ski buddies" by the opposition.

He said helium had a "duty" to decorativeness his enactment investigating predetermination meddling.

"When I accepted the mandate to enactment arsenic Independent Special Rapporteur, I did truthful with afloat cognition of the information that the enactment up would beryllium neither straightforward nor uncontroversial," helium said successful a statement.

"I profoundly respect the close of the House of Commons to explicit its sentiment astir my enactment going forward, but my mandate comes from the government."

Mr Johnston, a erstwhile politician wide of Canada, was appointed by Mr Trudeau successful March arsenic an autarkic peculiar rapporteur to analyse allegations of Chinese interference successful Canadian politics.

He was besides fixed the authorization to urge a nationalist enquiry - thing that absorption parties are demanding.

He rejected calls for specified an enquiry successful an interim study into his enactment earlier this month, alternatively recommending a bid of hearings into the meddling claims.

That ramped up scrutiny implicit his appointment, which was unpopular among governmental absorption parties, who said helium was excessively adjacent to the premier minister.

The brace person vacation homes adjacent each different and the families person been known to skis together. Mr Johnston besides worked with a charitable instauration named aft erstwhile Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Justin Trudeau's precocious father.

In April, enactment of the instauration resigned implicit a donation linked to Beijing.

Mr Johnston has called attacks connected his integrity "baseless accusations".

The question connected Wednesday was brought guardant by New Democratic Party MP Jenny Kwan, who this week said Canada's apical spy bureau had informed her she is being targeted by the Chinese government.

Intelligence reports leaked to Canadian media successful caller months person elaborate claims of Chinese meddling successful the country's past 2 national elections, successful 2019 and 2021.

China has repeatedly denied immoderate interference successful Canadian politics, and accused Canada of "slander and defamation" pursuing its expulsion of a Chinese diplomat earlier this month.

The contented has strained already challenging diplomatic relations betwixt the 2 countries.

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