Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of wanting to avoid a public inquiry into claims that China interfered in Canada’s elections because he benefits from Beijing’s meddling.
Poilievre made the comments during a press conference on Monday regarding the Liberals’ cabinet retreat in Prince Edward Island.
In response to a question about a lack of a consensus on a foreign election interference inquiry, Poilievre claimed that Trudeau “benefited from (interference) twice.”
“I’ve made my suggestions and I’m now waiting for him,” Poilievre told reporters.“You almost wonder if Trudeau doesn’t want the truth to come out about Beijing’s interference in our democracy before the next election so that he can allow that interference to happen all over again. He benefited from it twice.”
Poilievre went on to say Trudeau was “blocking the inquiry.”
“He didn’t introduce a foreign influence registry to identify those paid agents who work for foreign dictators to manipulate our politics,” Poilievre said. “It seems to me Trudeau is fine to allow the foreign influence to continue as long as it benefits him.”
The Conservatives have led calls for the federal government to immediately announce a sweeping public inquiry into reports that China has interfered in Canada’s last few elections.
Trudeau has yet to commit fully to a public inquiry, although in June Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said that he hasn’t ruled out appointing another special rapporteur to replace former governor general David Johnstone.
Earlier this year sources from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) claimed that the Chinese government saw the re-election of Justin Trudeau an ideal outcome during the last election.
According to the sources, the Chinese government oversaw a campaign to undermine the chances of a Conservative victory in the 2021 election.
It is alleged by media reports that up to 11 candidates benefited from China’s interference and they were mostly from the Liberal Party of Canada.
Other allegations include illicit donations to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation under the direction of Beijing and the Chinese government bussing supporters to a Liberal MP’s nomination meeting.
According to Poilievre, if elected, his government would create a foreign agent registry, hold a public inquiry and clamp down on China’s extralegal police stations in Canada.