Canada’s PM to defer cabinet confidence, let agencies review documents of foreign interference

Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page

Ottawa/CMEDIA: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to waive cabinet confidence in letting two federal agencies examine the confidential documents which David Johnston reviewed to produce his report.

Up till now both the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) did dot have permission to review cabinet documents.

But Johnston wrote in his report on foreign interference on Tuesday that the government should make an exception to that rule and release every confidential document he saw to the review bodies so that they can examine his findings. 

“Cabinet confidential documents … were instructive, and in my opinion reflect careful consideration of difficult issues by the federal cabinet,” Johnston reportedly wrote in his report

The two agencies have been tasked with reviewing what Trudeua’s government and national security agencies knew about alleged foreign interference in the last two Canadian elections, and when they knew it.

Johnston’s advice to the Trudeau government not to order a public inquiry into foreign interference by the Chinese government was backed by Trudeau.

Eversince his appointment as the Canadian federal government’s special rapporteur on foreign election interference, Johnston has been criticized  of being unfit for the job because of his connections to Trudeau.  

But both the leaders of the Conservative Party and Bloc Quebecois have said that the longstanding ties between Trudeau and Johnston, who they say are self-declared friends, can hinder Johnston from judging the prime minister’s actions.

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