Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford to testify on foreign interference at committee: PMO

Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford to testify on foreign interference at committee: PMO

Procedure and House Affairs Committee's work has ground to a halt because of Liberal filibustering for a total of 24 hours to date in an attempt to prevent Telford from testifying

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office says his chief of staff, Katie Telford, will testify before a Parliamentary committee on foreign interference, putting an end to dozens of hours of Liberal filibustering and a political deadlock on the issue.

“While there are serious constraints on what can be said in public about sensitive intelligence matters, in an effort to make Parliament work Ms. Telford has agreed to appear at the Procedure and House Affairs Committee as part of their study,” the Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson, Alison Murphy, said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Opposition members on the committee, commonly referred to as PROC, voted weeks ago to launch a study into allegations Beijing interfered in Canada’s electoral process. As part of the study, they called on Telford to testify on what she was told by security agencies after the media reported that the PMO had been briefed multiple times on Chinese attempts to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

But the committee’s work ground to a halt in early March because the Liberal members on the committee mounted a filibuster — totalling 24 hours to date — in an attempt to prevent Telford from testifying.

Minutes after the news broke that Telford would testify, Liberal members in a PROC meeting proceeded to remove their names from the speakers list, ending the filibuster. The committee then voted unanimously to summon Telford to testify for two hours before April 14.

Bardish Chagger, the Liberal chair of PROC, said the clerk would contact Telford to determine the best time for her to appear.

The PMO’s decision to allow Telford to testify came hours before a much-anticipated vote on a similar motion was to take place Tuesday afternoon in the House of Commons.

After weeks of trying at the committee level, the Conservatives on Monday introduced a motion in the House of Commons calling on Telford to testify at another committee, Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. They had the support of the Bloc Quebecois but needed the NDP’s backing to push through the motion in the minority Parliament.

On Tuesday morning, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party was ready to vote in favour of the Conservatives’ motion if Trudeau did not stop the obstruction at PROC. In the end, Singh’s caucus sided with the Liberals when it came time to vote and defeated the motion.

Singh took credit for the fact that Telford was ultimately testifying in PROC, and said it was thanks to his party’s efforts. Liberal MPs said Telford volunteered to testify.

Until Monday, the Trudeau Liberals were steadfast in opposing Telford’s testimony, arguing that MPs would be better served by hearing from past campaign directors instead.

Government House leader Mark Holland said that with Telford agreeing to testify before the PROC, he considered the Conservatives’ motion before the House to be “moot.” He also said the Liberals were attempting to work with the opposition to make sure that Parliament worked properly.

In fact, said Conservative House leader Andrew Scheer, the Liberals chose between the lesser of two evils, as the committee on ethics is chaired by a Conservative MP whereas PROC is chaired by a Liberal.

“They’d much rather have this hearing happen at a committee where the Liberals hold the chair because the chair will be able to use procedural tactics to their advantage,” said Scheer.

“Clearly, that was part of the deal,” he added, suggesting it was part of the Liberals’ discussions with the NDP.

The government also pushed back against rumours — that were not dismissed by Holland on Monday — that it considered making Tuesday’s vote a matter of no confidence, which would trigger an early election if the NDP voted against the government.

Trudeau said on Tuesday morning that it would not be a confidence vote.

The prime minister also insisted that there are many things that his chief of staff would not be able to share when it comes to national security matters, and that a parliamentary committee might not be the best way to seek answers to MPs’ many questions.

The federal government has asked former governor general David Johnston to act as a “special rapporteur” to decide by May 23 on whether or not a public inquiry is required.

He is expected to submit regular reports on his findings to the prime minister, which will be shared with leaders of the opposition and all Canadians, the PMO said. His review is expected to end on Oct. 31.


We shouldn't want an election. Search for the truth and determine if we have been lied to, and why? Actually what has taken place, namely the antics of the PM and Liberals, since the story arrived of the PM being advised, and the denials, delaying tactics to avoid finding the details. This should tell us what we need to know, and we should be shocked and upset about those tactics, regardless of the results.

Shame on anyone who has been involved with avoiding investigation and not wanting to help with finding the truth.

And now more costs and delays while we wait for results of another enquiry whose "results" will be revealed in OCTOBER???

Kind of makes me do what so many others have done in the past: Avoid involvement and participation. But the tremendous number of comments does show many more are involved now in this important issue.

Put a lie detector on her,her face has deceit written all over it

I guarantee you that Telford will have significant memory losses of certain events, even if she is under oath.

These people think they are above all of us peasants.

I called it ! Singh did side with the Liberals despite all his bluster!

John Brackenbury

That soulless piece of trash will just lie if necessary.

Has anyone else noticed how Trudeau obstinately refuses to do the right thing for many days, and then does a sudden turnabout? Why is that, I wonder. Hmm... Could it be to always give himself and his cronies enough time to rehearse the non-answers they will provide?

I'll repeat my prior suggestion: Whomever is doing the questioning had better utilize skillful tactics by asking only yes or no questions. And, for good measure, use that fantastic nailer, "So, Ms. Telford, were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual LIAR!"

The woke Trudeau liberals "affection" they had from other countries has evaporated. Our allies have become frustrated with Trudeau's seemingly acquiescence attitude of the Chinese influence on Canada's elections. Even the Australian Senate are discussing this issue.

Singh plans I think, to remain in political power until Trudeau and himself are booted out of power . The NDP cannot afford another election this year..

Because a confidence motion was passed, the trigger was not pulled on the Trudeau and Singh 'partnership" The woke fools power is finished. Poilievre and his conservatives will politically crush the scheming idiots.

Get ready for the word salad of all word salads. She will obfuscate and deflect. 

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