Singh prefers to avoid the elections. And he saves Trudeau government

TORONTO – The NDP leader Jagmeet Singh keeps two things going at the same time: on the one hand, he presents a motion to invite David Johnston (special rapporteur on foreign interference in Canada, appointed by Justin Trudeau) to step aside, and to ask for a public inquiry (denied first by Trudeau and then by Johnston himself); on the other, he reiterated his unconditional support for the minority government of the Liberals. “Before sending Canadians to the polls, their confidence in the electoral process must be restored”, is Singh’s justification. 

As well known, former Governor General David Johnston, special rapporteur on foreign interference, released a report on Tuesday probing the extent of foreign interference by China in Canada’s last two federal elections: and, in delivering the report, advised the government not to go ahead with a public inquiry.

Both Singh and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre contested that “recommendation”, continuing to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to convene a public inquiry. And both Poilievre and Bloc Québécois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet stressed that Trudeau and Johnston are friends and that their longstanding ties are too close for Johnston to be impartial on an issue as sensitive as foreign interference in Canada.

Singh’s NDP, in turn, tabled a motion in the House of Commons asking Johnston to resign and open a public inquiry, chaired “by someone who has the unanimous support of all recognized parties in the House”. After introducing the motion on Tuesday, NDP MP Jenny Kwan told the House that Johnston must step down, due to his ties to Trudeau and because members of his team also have conflicts of interest. “We are in a situation where Johnston is not trusted by everyone in this House for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the discovery that his counsel has made donations to the Liberal Party which surely should have been reported” Kwan said. “The person who is looking at these documents must be someone who is trusted by everyone. And I am sorry to say that Mr. Johnston is not trusted,” she added.

Poilievre, however, put his finger on the wound of the NDP: why doesn’t Singh, who complains so much about the initiatives of Trudeau government, withdraw his confidence and bring it down?

“Before I send Canadians to vote – Singh replied – I want to make sure that there are measures in place, that recommendations are followed that actually strengthen our democracy. I want to see people believe in voting, I want to see people confident in voting and I want restore Canadians’ confidence in that”.

In short, Trudeau can continue to sleep peacefully until at least 2025.

In the photo above, the House of Commons (from the “Parliament of Canada” Facebook page)