Foreign interference | Johnston disrespects Commons, slams NDP

(OTTAWA) Special rapporteur David Johnston’s decision to cling to his post despite being voted down on Wednesday by a majority of elected members of the House of Commons “lacks seriousness”, the leader of the New Party lamented Thursday. Democratic, Jagmeet Singh.

“I am very disappointed by the lack of understanding of the importance of such a vote calling for his withdrawal and the speed with which he reacted to this vote. I would have expected from a former Governor General a more thoughtful approach and greater respect for the will of the House of Commons,” Mr. Singh wrote in a statement.

The New Democrat leader also believes that the statements made by the special rapporteur after the vote show that he “responds to the Prime Minister” while the situation requires “a process that is independent of this government”.

In a written statement, Mr. Johnston said Wednesday that he “deeply respects” that the House of Commons expresses its “opinion”, but added in the same breath that “my mandate comes from the government” and that he intends to pursue it.

The New Democrat motion calling for its withdrawal had just been adopted by a majority of elected officials. Only the Liberals, a minority, opposed it. According to the results announced in the Commons, 174 MPs voted in favor and 150 against.

With the motion, the House also called again for a public, independent inquiry into foreign interference, which Johnston voted against.

The motion is not binding and the Liberals technically do not have to comply with it, but Mr. Singh has been insisting for days that he believes he can get them to change their tune.

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