As the story of Foreign interference continues, Canada watched the interview of special rapporteur, The Honourable David Johnston by Procedure and House Affairs committee on June 6.
Both parties in the matter have dug their heels in even deeper. The government and Mr. Johnston have stated that he will not be stepping down and there will be no public inquiry. The opposition parties are also unwavering in their stance that Mr. Johnston should go and that a public inquiry needs to take place.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
After listening to the interview, a couple of points stand out for us. Firstly, we were puzzled to hear that Mr. Johnston did not interview MP Han Dong. The former GG stated that the intelligence he received allowed him to deduce that MP Dong was not a willful collaborator in a purported interference operation by Beijing. However, Mr. Johnston did state that he identified irregularities with Dong’s nomination in 2019 and that those irregularities were tied to the Peoples Republic of China’s consulate in Toronto. In our humble opinion, recognizing Mr. Dong’s ongoing relationship with members of this consulate should have suggested that an interview with Mr. Dong was both prudent and reasonable.
On Tuesday May 30th, former Conservative leader, The Honourable Erin O’Toole made comments in the House of Commons after a meeting with CSIS the week prior. He stated that CSIS found an operation orchestrated by China to smear him and bring deception and voter suppression against him and his party in the 2021 election. During this election, O’Toole took a harsh posture against China viewing its affliction of the Uyghur population as genocide. Mr. O’Toole told the House of Commons the misinformation campaign was funded by the People’s Republic of China. They used the Social Media platform WeChat to intensify the deception and the movement for voter suppression.
Mr. Johnston’s report stated that they did find evidence that Beijing was looking for information about MP Michael Chong and his family. However, he said that his information did not verify O’Toole’s statements. When asked by Mr. Singh, the NDP leader why his intelligence is different from Mr. O’Toole’s, Mr. Johnston suggested that he had different information than Mr. O’Toole. This is what is troubling as it indicates that the special rapporteur may not have had all the pertinent information before coming to his conclusions.
MP Jenny Kwan(NDP) also stated that she was briefed by CSIS of a campaign against her by China due to her advocacy of human rights in Hong Kong and for the Uyghur people. There seems to be enough allegations of this kind of interference by China that would indicate to the Canadian people that this is a real problem.
We agree that David Johnston served our nation well as Governor General. We honour him as a man of distinction and integrity. However, we agree that someone else who does not have any appearance of conflict would have been a better choice. If the Liberal government was negligent in their dealings with these concerns about China, would Mr. Johnston be able to rise above his friendship with the PM to speak the whole truth? I don’t think this is the question we need to ask but rather, “Do the Canadian people think he can?” The appearance of conflict can sometimes be worse than conflict itself. As foreign Interference is an attack on our democracy, Canada needs to hear the full facts and they need to be certain that what they are being told is authentic, accurate and complete.
I don’t think that there is any doubt our Canadian democracy have fallen victim to foreign interference. Without question, these alien entities will persist to work their agenda into our democracy, our way of life and even our values. It’s vital that the government installs policy that will protect our nation from this kind of intrusion. Legislation needs to be in place to protect Canada from all foreign interference.
The diaspora groups who are the pawns in this foreign interference also need protection from the Canadian government. They left countries with tyrannical governments to come to Canada where they can have freedom and a better way of life. Yet, they still are subject to the fear tactics and intimidation by those governments. Systems need to be put into place to instil a sense of trust and safety in these people.
“For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.”
Pray for the government and for Mr. Johnston that they would recognize the perception of conflict. Pray that they would have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Pray for our Members of Parliament that they would be able to work together on this file to bring about those structures and systems needed to protect our democracy. Pray that they would be able to distinguish between political narratives and righteousness.
Pray for the diaspora groups that plans would be put into place to give them assurance of trust that the government will be able to deliver real protection.
“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.”