Conservatives and Bloc Québécois doubt the independence of the future “special rapporteur”

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<p> Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre during question period in the House of Commons on Monday evening </p>
<p>The leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Bloc Québécois do not believe not that Justin Trudeau wishes to appoint a truly independent “special rapporteur” to shed light on allegations of Chinese interference in Canada.</p>
<p>“[The Prime Minister] wants a process that is secret and controlled”, dropped the Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, Tuesday morning.</p>
<p>Even before knowing the identity of the person chosen for this new position announced Monday evening, he argues that the Liberals will try to protect theirs by appointing someone “with gray hair, who seems reasonable, but who is linked to the liberals and there to protect the liberal <i>establishment</i>.</p>
<p>Like other opposition party leaders, Pierre Poilievre maintains his demand for an independent public inquiry, but accepts that its deputies participate in parliamentary committees responsible for examining this issue behind closed doors.</p>
<p>Faced with intense pressure to launch such an investigation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a series of measures on Monday to protect democratic institutions from foreign interference. He justified himself by saying that expert opinions differ on the relevance of such a forum.</p>
<p>The Liberal government will notably rely on an “independent special rapporteur” to determine whether a public inquiry is necessary. This rapporteur may issue recommendations aimed at other institutions. Justin Trudeau also announced consultations for the creation of a public registry of foreign agents, as well as a request to the Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security and Intelligence (CPSNR) to examine this question, in particular. /p> </p>
<h2 class=Expected Application

The prime minister did not announce who would be named to the post of special rapporteur, only that he would be an “eminent Canadian” and that his work could begin in the coming weeks. He promised to consult the opposition parties.

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet demanded that this person be appointed by parliament, currently in a minority situation, and not by the government Trudeau. “The prime minister can consult us in a bogus way,” he said.

Mr. Blanchet accuses the Prime Minister of wanting to choose a candidate whom he knows in advance is opposed to the holding of an independent public inquiry. If Parliament were to validate the candidacy of the future special rapporteur, the Liberal government would have to secure the support of at least one opposition party.

On the contrary, the leader of the New Democratic Party ( NDP), Jagmeet Singh, said he trusted the Liberal government to appoint an independent rapporteur. This, even if he wishes to be consulted.

“Usually when the government appoints [someone], from experience, the people appointed are people who do important work and take their job seriously. So we are confident in this question of appointment,” Mr. Singh said in a scrum.

In his opinion, the aspect of transparency is still lacking in the formula presented, for lack of a public survey. However, he did not want to say whether he could go back on his agreement with the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) if the special rapporteur concluded that such an investigation is not necessary. According to this agreement, the NDP agrees to keep the PLC in power until 2025, under certain conditions.

The leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May, also made it clear this morning that it expects to be consulted by the government for the appointment of a special rapporteur. His party has only two elected members of the House of Commons, too few to be included in a parliamentary committee motion that called for a commissioner chosen unanimously by the recognized parties to conduct a public inquiry.