NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has requested that the prime minister allow additional members of his party to receive briefings on foreign interference attempts, following the refusal of the Conservative and Bloc Québécois leaders to obtain required security clearance. Singh has asked for these spots to be given to members of his team who would attend the briefings with him, and for assurance that his conclusions based on the intelligence reviewed will not be constrained. The Prime Minister’s Office has not yet responded to the request. Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre and Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet declined Trudeau’s offer, stating that it seemed designed to trap them into agreeing not to publicly speak about the allegations. Meanwhile, opposition party leaders are displeased with Special Rapporteur David Johnston’s first report on foreign interference, as it argues against a public inquiry into foreign interference but promises to hold public hearings. Johnston states that confidential information will be provided to those who possess the right security clearance. The report was issued following media reports that China meddled in the last two federal elections. Johnston found serious gaps in how intelligence is shared within the government and no evidence that the Liberal government knowingly ignored interference attempts or recommendations from national security agencies. Singh argues that a public inquiry is necessary to restore trust in Canada’s institutions, but pulling out of the current confidence-and-supply agreement is not on the cards.
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