Poilievre sends letter to “special rapporteur” Johnston, questions his objectivity
Poilievre sends letter to “special rapporteur” Johnston, questions his objectivity

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is questioning “Special Rapporteur” David Johnston’s ability to be objective in his investigation of Chinese election interference. 

In a short letter sent to Johnston and made public through Twitter, Poilievre asked the “Special Rapporteur” appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how he will investigate the Trudeau Foundation – of which Johnston was a member – and their acceptance of an alarming $200,000 donation from a businessman connected with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

“Explain this,” says Poilievre. “How will you investigate Beijing’s donation to the Trudeau Foundation when you were part of the Trudeau Foundation?”

Poilievre’s letter comes shortly after the Trudeau Foundation’s President and CEO Pascale Fournier resigned, along with the entire board of directors. The president and board said the revelation that the foundation had accepted a large sum of money from China has politicized their work and made it impossible for them to continue in their roles. 

“In recent weeks, the political climate surrounding a donation received by the Foundation in 2016 has put a great deal of pressure on the Foundation’s management and volunteer Board of Directors,” reads the statement.

“The circumstances created by the politicization of the Foundation have made it impossible to continue with the status quo, and the volunteer Board of Directors has resigned, as has the President and CEO.”

Poilievre responded to the resignation of the Trudeau Foundation’s board and CEO by demanding an investigation to find out who got paid, and who gained influence within the Trudeau government from the donation.

It is not clear that Johnston’s mandate from PM Trudeau allows him to investigate Beijing money given to the Trudeau Foundation. 

The announcement of Johnston’s mandate says that he will be tasked with “assessing the extent and impact of foreign interference in Canada’s electoral processes” through examination of classified and unclassified government documents deemed relevant.

Johnston resigned his membership in the Trudeau Foundation after his government appointment.

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