(OTTAWA) Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc will meet with representatives of the opposition parties on Friday evening in the hope that an agreement will soon be reached regarding a possible public inquiry into foreign interference.
Three sources have confirmed the holding of this meeting to The Canadian Press. They were granted anonymity so that they could express themselves more freely on the issue.
According to one of them, from the New Democratic Party, an agreement between parties on the modalities of an investigation is at hand. “We are not far. […] It’s coming,” she summed up.
The other sources did not advance as much on the imminence of an agreement. One of them said that everyone hopes to agree on Friday on the mandate of the commission of inquiry demanded by all the opposition parties for months.
Another source, on the Liberal side, simply presented the meeting as a continuation of the discussions initiated in June by Minister LeBlanc.
The latter, the day after the resignation of special rapporteur David Johnston, reached out to other political parties to find common ground on what to do next.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had asked the former governor general to decide in favor or not of a commission of inquiry. The latter dismissed the idea in a preliminary report before resigning in June.
Opposition parties accused Johnston of bias, in appearance or in fact, as well as closeness to the prime minister and his family.
Friday’s meeting will take place virtually while Mr. LeBlanc is in Japan for meetings with his G7 counterparts. The minister is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern time) with the House leaders of the other parties.
A Liberal source said she didn’t expect more details on the outcome of the meeting to be released on Friday as House leaders will likely want to consult with their party leaders first.
All opposition parties have been calling for a public, independent inquiry into foreign interference since March. Several motions were adopted by a majority of elected members in the House to express this desire.