Ottawa, ON – Michael Cooper, Conservative Shadow Minister for Democratic Reform, released the following statement after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again shot down a national inquiry into serious allegations of foreign interference in Canadian elections:
“Once again, Justin Trudeau is covering up the truth and telling Canadians there is ‘nothing to see here’ when it comes to Beijing’s interference in our democracy. Yesterday, the committee investigating foreign interference (PROC) clearly voted to establish a public inquiry into foreign interference, despite opposition from Trudeau’s Liberals. But this morning, Justin Trudeau arrogantly rebuffed the calls by a clear majority of the Committee.
“Trudeau has claimed that he ‘respect[s] Parliament and the work done in committees.’ But Trudeau is showing nothing but contempt for Parliament, and for our democracy, by stonewalling efforts to investigate foreign interference and by refusing to treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves. While Justin Trudeau may express his admiration for Beijing’s ‘basic dictatorship,’ he cannot ignore the clear direction of Canadians’ democratically-elected representatives.
“Conservatives have been working relentlessly to get the truth for Canadians. That is why we have supported a public inquiry and continue our parliamentary work to get answers. But the Liberals and their NDP coalition partners have now three times blocked our attempts to get Trudeau’s top advisor, Katie Telford, to provide sworn testimony before Committee on what the Prime Minister and his government knew about Beijing’s interference, and when. If the Trudeau government really believes there is nothing to see here, they would have agreed to allow the Prime Minister’s closest advisor to appear at Committee.
“By now, it is clear the Prime Minister, with the aid of his willing NDP coalition allies, is hiding something. Canadians deserve answers. After Justin Trudeau’s newest rejection of a public inquiry – something that Jagmeet Singh and the NDP themselves demanded – the NDP needs to answer on how they can possibly continue to shield this Liberal government at Committee. Or, is this a secret part of Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh’s backroom deal?
“Conservatives will continue to use every tool available to ensure that Trudeau comes clean with Canadians about what he knows and when he knew, and we will continue to fight to get Trudeau’s top advisor to answer questions. Conservatives take foreign interference in our elections seriously, even if Trudeau and his Liberal government do not.”