Rapporteur David Johnson, Eminent Canadian

Dixie Cup

Senate Member
Sep 16, 2006
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The appointment of a special rapporteur has nothing to do with inquiring into foreign interference in Canadian elections. Over the past four years, parliamentary committees have studied foreign interference extensively, issuing five reports and making over 30 recommendations.

There is no question foreign governments have attempted to influence elections in Canada. There are, however, serious questions about what, if anything, Trudeau did to address all the reports and recommendations.

From the outset, the appointment of a special rapporteur was an overt attempt to avoid any meaningful inquiry into what the government has done (or failed to do) to counter foreign interference. The special rapporteur is a partisan position intended to thwart transparency.

Johnston’s first report was a study in avoiding potentially embarrassing questions. When did the prime minister know foreign entities were interfering with nominations and elections and what he did about it are, apparently, questions immaterial to the divine mission of a special rapporteur.

David Johnston — tasked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in March with “looking into” allegations that China tried to meddle in the past two federal elections — says he has decided to step down from that role.

A government source said Johnston made his own decision to resign and wasn't asked to step down by the Prime Minister's Office….so…no bus to be thrown under?

Trudeau appointed Johnston to the role in March, as part of a suite of measures responding to concerns the Liberal government failed to share information, or respond adequately to the threat of foreign interference in the last two federal elections….so Trudeau selected David Johnston to investigate Justin Trudeau & the Liberal Gov’t…& he’d report back to the PMO (Justin Trudeau) about Justin Trudeau….& Johnston made it clear that he was not answerable to Parliament or the Canadian People they represent…but to the Liberal Government = Justin Trudeau.

In his interim report released May 23, while pointing to the real threat that foreign election interference poses and the need to address some serious intelligence gaps, Johnston recommended against a public inquiry, but announced plans of his own to conduct public hearings….& Johnston selected Johnston to hold & run & chair these public hearings.

The former governor general's decision is being welcomed by opposition leaders, who are using his abdication as an opportunity to revive calls for Trudeau to launch a public inquiry.

"David Johnston has done the right thing. Now the prime minister must call a public inquiry, so that we can restore trust in our democracy," tweeted NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said in a tweet that he "salutes" Johnston's "dignified decision."

Blanchet said Trudeau now has no choice but to come to Parliament to select a judge who could chair an independent commission into Chinese interference in Canada.

In a major shift, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will now weigh whether to call a public inquiry into foreign elections interference after former governor general David Johnston stunned the government Friday, resigning as outside adviser after weeks of controversy over his appointment and the conclusions of his interim report.

All three main opposition parties have already voted in favour of a public inquiry, and all reiterated that demand Friday in reaction to Johnston’s departure.

“I always thought that Mr. Johnston is an honourable man and today’s decision shows that,” Singh said. In addition to a public inquiry, he demanded Trudeau work with opposition parties on an “action plan” to deal with interference.

Yves-François Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Québécois, said Trudeau now has no choice but to immediately turn to Parliament to nominate a judge to preside over an inquiry into “Chinese interference in Canada.”

So…what will Trudeau do NOW to avoid a Public Inquiry? Coin toss, best two out of three, but with a BROAD mandate, etc…?

On Tuesday, Johnston spent three hours before a parliamentary committee where opposition MPs vigorously sought to undercut the whole of his findings to reinforce their demands that a public inquiry is the only way forward.

They pointed out discrepancies between Johnston’s recent report and other public information, pressed him on absences from his witness list and grilled him on how much work he actually did.

The Liberal-led circus surrounding allegations of foreign interference took a new turn on Friday when David Johnston, brought on by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March to look into claims of interference by China in the past two federal elections, announced he is quitting his role as special rapporteur.
He will step down no later than the end of June.
Not soon enough. The whole thing was a travesty & a waste of money 💰 but apparently the money is no object for this PM.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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The more things focus on Johnston, the more Trudeau can use him as a shield to deflect accountability from himself. I’m still not sure if it’ll be Johnston or Singh that gets thrown under the bus next as neither is a woman which is usually the first clue.
In a major shift, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will now weigh whether to call a public inquiry into foreign elections interference after former governor general David Johnston stunned the government Friday, resigning as outside adviser after weeks of controversy over his appointment and the conclusions of his interim report.
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I guess it wasn’t Mr Singh to be first…so does that mean Johnston won (?) or lost?
In the eyes of many, Johnston’s declaration — after Parliament voted for his removal and for an immediate inquiry — that he had a mandate from the government, not Parliament, to continue his work struck a discordant note, coming from a former governor general.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Well, that’s the end of one big useless distracting storm.

The only accomplishment of Mr. Trudeau’s sly attempt to shed his responsibility as Prime Minister and load it onto the back of someone else is to have dug more than a few extra feet to the already deep sour well of Canadians’ cynicism about crony politics.

The selection of David Johnston as special rapporteur for foreign interference, the appointment of Johnston, the recurrent efforts to keep Johnston in place were all patented exhibitions of the the great Trudeau transparency-avoiding machinery working at its most furious.

And all, this time, futile. Futile that is from the viewpoint of media-management consiglieres of the PMO, the smart boys on high salaries in the back rooms and the timid league of front-benchers in the Trudeau cabinet who thought to massage this temporizing, evasive and explicitly inadequate appointment into something acceptable to the Canadian public are having a gloomy weekend. Not gloomy enough.

This is the same scandal-burying machinery that has worked so well all the way from the Aga Khan vacation to the hallucinatory India costume tour, right up to the rushed, cursory so-called inquiry into the Emergencies Act and its devastation of Canadian civil rights.

This time it stalled, the bulldozer broke down, the patented talking-points had no resonance — why not even the brilliant idea of bannering Johnston with the so-classy sobriquet of “rapporteur” didn’t save the day. Only proved Liberals could be sophists in two languages, while trying to be artful in both.

The announcement Johnston was leaving his post came on a late Friday afternoon — government’s chosen hour for “over the side” and “under the bus” or “walking the plank” political executions. Really, they should hoist a black flag on the Peace Tower past three o’clock every Friday afternoon just to give their “news dumps” the choreography they deserve.
 

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Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
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From the very absolute beginning of this Chinese government interference story, there has been only one person and only one office with both the power and responsibility to unearth the depth and cost to our democracy of that interference. The person is Justin Trudeau and the office is that of prime minister.
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A real prime minister confronts the deepest issues that trouble the country, deals with them manfully, takes the lead and faces the storm — if storm there be. He does not farm them out to acquaintances or neighbours. Unless of course there is a Jagmeet Singh always ready to lubricate his evasions and provide the abysmally supine cover for the same.
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By trying to sling that awesome burden away from himself and his office — and of course to spare his increasingly tattered party yet more opprobrium from a very disenchanted public — Mr. Trudeau, always politically cute, may this time have out-cuted himself.
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The actual issue is back right where it was when it began. But lodged so much deeper into the minds of even non-political observers. Canadians are still ignorant of the depth or nature of Chinese interference. We have no particulars on how they have pressured or put their claws on our Canadian-Chinese citizens. No read on their interactions with MPs, their attempted or real influence in certain ridings. We are at near zero information on the biggest assault on our electoral system itself.
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Time has been wasted, energies better used on the issue itself, diverted — all over what was a partisan manoeuvre, of the Liberals, from the beginning.

There was something hard and cruel about putting Johnston in the middle of all this — even acknowledging he didn’t have to take the job.

Where now? Well, there will not be another special rapporteur. Rapporteurs, special or otherwise, are gone the way of the great auk and the not so impressive dodo.
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A real, open, qualified public inquiry? Not if the high wizards of the PMO scandal-evasion machinery have their way. There must be some other “tactic” to befuddle the public and decoy the political panels these sages can devise.
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Prorogation? Certainly possible, even likely, if the fallout from Johnston’s falling out stirs the public. Summer provides a kind of political amnesia — what with announcement tours, conferences on cottage patios for the elites, and maybe a drag show or two to lift Liberal spirits.
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As for advice — to whom now may they look? Where is the meistermind to haul them out of this well-spaded pit? It will have to be someone really special.

Do they still have Hillary’s number?
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
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my guess is that eventually this will be dumped on chrystia. ;)
Ugh…her credibility outside of the Liberal fan club is nil. Surviving in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet requires the ability to say the most absurd things while keeping a straight face. Freeland has got that, but it’s just not believable.

Such was the case with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc on Saturday, subbing for Trudeau who made a surprise trip to Ukraine.

LeBlanc said that with David Johnston having resigned as Trudeau’s adviser on foreign interference, he’s going to consult with the opposition leaders on the way forward because “we’re not looking to delay this process at all.” (???????)

In the real world, Trudeau has been delaying the process of creating an independent public inquiry to investigate Beijing’s assault on Canadian democracy — with particular attention to the 2021 and 2019 federal elections — for months.

The reason is obvious. He doesn’t want one, despite all the federal opposition leaders, the majority of MPs in the House of Commons and, according to the polls, most Canadians, wanting a public inquiry.

To get a handle on what happens next in the Trudeau government’s ongoing, puck-ragging refusal to come clean about what it knew, when it knew and what it did about Beijing’s well-documented interference on the Liberals’ behalf in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, it is necessary to remember why we’re at this clown-show juncture in the first place, exactly, and how we got here.
Then, somewhere along the way, Johnston rewrote his own job description so that it was less about deciding whether an investigation under the Inquiries Act should proceed, and more about justifying why he’d decided that he himself would play the role of a sort-of inquiry commissioner. Somewhere along the way, his job became not about answering questions Trudeau would not or could not answer because nobody would believe him anyway, but rather a public-relations exercise “to help build trust in our democratic institutions.”
 
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Ron in Regina

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I think there is far more to the story to cant be publically talked aboot. The type of thing that can only be legally exposed by stumbling upon it.
Ditto. It wouldn’t have happened with David Johnston as an “Independent” special…or even extra-special Rapporteur, & thus his appointment by Trudeau. The info he was selectively spoon feed would have safely avoided his stumbling across anything he wasn’t supposed to. There was absolutely Zero “Independent” anything about his appointment beyond an “Independence” of democratic selection

This HAS to be a Public Inquiry, with a Judge, with subpoena power, to get to the bottom of things….& if the goal is REALLY to restore confidence & faith in our Federal Elections & “Democratic” Institutions, it HAS to be as open & transparent as possible within the boundary’s of national security concerns, etc…& Johnston’s distraction wouldn’t have been the answer.

Trudeau & the Libs are going to fight this tooth and nail, and Singh & the NDP are going to make a lot of ineffectual and inconsequential noise while continuing to support the Liberals Minority Gov’t regardless of any outcome until Justin decides it’s time to throw them under the Liberal Bus too.

This whole situation needs to see the light of day Publicly, and let the chips fall as they may so that real changes can be initiated and instituted which can be effective for future election interference regardless of the level of government or direction the interference comes from.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
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This HAS to be a Public Inquiry, with a Judge, with subpoena power, to get to the bottom of things….& if the goal is REALLY to restore confidence & faith in our Federal Elections & “Democratic” Institutions, it HAS to be as open & transparent as possible within the boundary’s of national security concerns, etc…& Johnston’s distraction wouldn’t have been the answer.
I dont think it has "sunk in" with Canafians that is this real, bonafide, not made up by opposition, authentic election interference that was fully known aboot and endorsed by Justin Trudeau himself.

The funny part....not just getting caught but it backfired leaving Justin with yet another minority Govt.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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I dont think it has "sunk in" with Canafians that is this real, bonafide, not made up by opposition, authentic election interference that was fully known aboot and endorsed by Justin Trudeau himself.

The funny part....not just getting caught but it backfired leaving Justin with yet another minority Govt.
All the parties have been demanding a public inquiry since the allegations first surfaced earlier this year, and last week, all three united in the House to vote for a motion calling for Johnston’s resignation. The leaders of all three parties reiterated Friday their demands for a full public inquiry. Basically…Every Federal Elected MP EXCEPT the Liberal are insisting on this for a reason…in a Minority Government situation

Stephanie Carvin, a former CSIS analyst and assistant professor at Carleton University, said the prime minister can’t rely on a “hybrid solution” anymore.

Trudeau did not consult opposition leaders when he appointed Johnston (even though the Liberals claim that they did), an academic and former governor general with no intelligence background who was a member of the Trudeau foundation, which has found itself at the centre of allegations of Chinese influence operations targeting the prime minister.

ANY future decisions by Trudeau on how to proceed must be done in consultation with opposition parties, who were themselves the alleged targets of Chinese misinformation, voter suppression and intimidation efforts, according to briefings that MPs received from CSIS.

Johnston as a Special Rapporteur, Independent or not, was a stalling tactic by the Trudeau Liberals, and the whitewash didn’t work. Three months are lost to this, and three months closer to an eventual election where we (Canada & Canadians) can’t at least have the initial changes in place to help prevent this from happening again going forward. Why (?) when Everyone not wearing a a big “L” on their sweater can see this as obvious???
 
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Serryah

Executive Branch Member
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Ugh…her credibility outside of the Liberal fan club is nil. Surviving in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet requires the ability to say the most absurd things while keeping a straight face. Freeland has got that, but it’s just not believable.

Such was the case with Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc on Saturday, subbing for Trudeau who made a surprise trip to Ukraine.

LeBlanc said that with David Johnston having resigned as Trudeau’s adviser on foreign interference, he’s going to consult with the opposition leaders on the way forward because “we’re not looking to delay this process at all.” (???????)

In the real world, Trudeau has been delaying the process of creating an independent public inquiry to investigate Beijing’s assault on Canadian democracy — with particular attention to the 2021 and 2019 federal elections — for months.

The reason is obvious. He doesn’t want one, despite all the federal opposition leaders, the majority of MPs in the House of Commons and, according to the polls, most Canadians, wanting a public inquiry.

To get a handle on what happens next in the Trudeau government’s ongoing, puck-ragging refusal to come clean about what it knew, when it knew and what it did about Beijing’s well-documented interference on the Liberals’ behalf in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, it is necessary to remember why we’re at this clown-show juncture in the first place, exactly, and how we got here.
Then, somewhere along the way, Johnston rewrote his own job description so that it was less about deciding whether an investigation under the Inquiries Act should proceed, and more about justifying why he’d decided that he himself would play the role of a sort-of inquiry commissioner. Somewhere along the way, his job became not about answering questions Trudeau would not or could not answer because nobody would believe him anyway, but rather a public-relations exercise “to help build trust in our democratic institutions.”

Well, to be fair, Dominic - who sadly is my MP - is a fucking idiot and the reason he's got the status he has is because of his dad, so...
 
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Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
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Well, to be fair, Dominic - who sadly is my MP - is a fucking idiot and the reason he's got the status he has is because of his dad, so...
I don’t know Dominic’s backstory, but his position in Cabinet due to his Fathers Surname? “Say it isn’t so!?!” Oh well…

Most of what I know about this dude is based upon hearing him in Parliament parroting nonsense on YouTube in all honesty. He comes across like he’s got a USB Slot on the back of his neck.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
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ANY future decisions by Trudeau on how to proceed must be done in consultation with opposition parties, who were themselves the alleged targets of Chinese misinformation, voter suppression and intimidation efforts, according to briefings that MPs received from CSIS.
I dont think Trudeau should have any involvement in decisions on where this goes next.

If there nothing to hide or face this would have been over months ago.
 

pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
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I dont think Trudeau should have any involvement in decisions on where this goes next.

If there nothing to hide or face this would have been over months ago.
The donations to his riding association alone is enough .
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,172
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Regina, Saskatchewan
I dont think Trudeau should have any involvement in decisions on where this goes next.

If there nothing to hide or face this would have been over months ago.
The last two elections (2019 & 2021) involve the CCP, donations to the Trudeau Foundation (Which Johnston skipped over entirely) for access to the PM (JT), and what was or wasn’t done regarding the current Gov’t (Trudeau & the Libs) about security briefings regarding this dating back to the Pre-2019 Federal Election Timeframe…& who knew what & when about this.

Johnston with his mandate from the PM stated specifically that he would not (or was not mandated to) address “who knew what & when” either in his initial report, public hearings, or his final report that would have been due at the end of October 2023.

If/When there’s a Public Inquiry, Justin Trudeau being involved up to his eyebrows in it setting (handcuffing) the mandate to exclude himself, the Liberals (who the CCP where supposedly manipulating the outcome to get the Libs re-elected but into a Minority situation), or exclude who knew what and when with respect to CSIS and other intelligence entities briefings would not be conducive to reinstating confidence in Canada’s democracy institutions. Hand in hand, Trudeau being able to “Broaden the Mandate” into the ridiculous watering down any outcome like how it made people in Ottawa feel about parking situations, ect…would be equally nonconductive to actually achieving an outcome that would help minimize foreign interference and restore faith in our democratic system with its safeguards.

I’m picturing a public inquiry with a panel of judges with subpoena powers, selected by Parliament (338 votes by elected representatives of the Canadian People) who can actually request information and subpoena witnesses…& not just have access to the information approved by the PMO, Justin Trudeau, and/or his Liberal Cabinet. This may be expensive and time-consuming but I believe that it’s necessary and important.

Much like the SNC-Lavatory or WE shenanigans, allowing the Liberals to investigate, influence, and determine the outcome would be at best a conflict of interest and most likely a travesty of justice that would be seen as the blatant smokescreen that it would turn into.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Maybe the CCP will send Bev Mclauclin home to whitewash their work here.
That’s not as far-fetched as you might think. Mendocino or Leblanc (interchangeable) stating the Trudeau will be investigating “all options” to resolving this matter doesn’t state there will be a Public Inquiry as all of parliament (except the minority Libs) has requested repeatedly.

Any ridiculous time consuming distractionary move is still on the Liberal table in the “all options” statement, with any crazy mandate or Broad mandate still open to diffusing any real solutions regarding outside foreign interference in our elections at all levels.
 
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Taxslave2

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That’s not as far-fetched as you might think. Mendocino or Leblanc (interchangeable) stating the Trudeau will be investigating “all options” to resolving this matter doesn’t state there will be a Public Inquiry as all of parliament (except the minority Libs) has requested repeatedly.

Any ridiculous time consuming distractionary move is still on the Liberal table in the “all options” statement, with any crazy mandate or Broad mandate still open to diffusing any real solutions regarding outside foreign interference in our elections at all levels.
I have seen a couple of fb posts from people wanting her to come home. Never read any of them far enough tofigure out why or what side they are on, but this might be related.