Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

‘Fake job:’ Poilievre won’t meet watchdog investigating foreign interference

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he chose not to meet former governor general David Johnston, who is investigating allegations of China’s meddling in Canada’s elections and other matters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Johnston as a special rapporteur to look into possible gaps the federal government has when it deals with foreign interference — and possibly recommend a public inquiry.

Poilievre says Johnston has a “fake job” and he’s unable to do it independently because he used to be a member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, which is under scrutiny for accepting a donation reportedly linked to China.

Poilievre says he sent a letter to Johnston asking him how he can investigate the organization independently, but did not receive a response.

He says Canada needs move on from this “special rapporteur distraction” and get on with a public inquiry.

The New Democrats say they initiated a meeting between Johnston, party leader Jagmeet Singh and one of their MPs on May 1, when Singh also pushed for a public inquiry.