Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre accused Special Rapporteur David Johnston of aiding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “cover up the influence by Beijing in our democracy,” following Johnston’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into allegations of foreign election interference. Reports from Globe and Mail and Global News, citing unnamed national security sources, have claimed that the Chinese Communist Party attempted to influence Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections, intimidate members of Parliament, fund political candidates, and operate foreign police stations to silence dissidents. Trudeau appointed Johnston as special rapporteur on foreign interference in March in response to the allegations, but after reviewing classified documents and interviewing policymakers, Johnston concluded that holding a public inquiry was not appropriate due to sensitivities around intelligence related to foreign interference and ethical concerns with the way the federal government handled the issue. Poilievre criticized Johnston’s appointment as he was a member of the Trudeau Foundation, which received a donation of $140,000 from Beijing-tied businessmen to buy Justin Trudeau’s “love and loyalty,” and reiterated his calls for a full public inquiry into foreign interference. Trudeau defended Johnston’s appointment, calling him a man of extraordinary integrity, and Johnston himself downplayed his association with Trudeau and his past membership in the Trudeau Foundation.