Cory Morgan: Nothing Less Than a Full, Independent Public Inquiry Into CCP Interference Will Satisfy Canadians

Cory Morgan: Nothing Less Than a Full, Independent Public Inquiry Into CCP Interference Will Satisfy Canadians
Han Dong celebrates with supporters as a provincial Liberal candidate in the Toronto area on May 22, 2014. He later became a Liberal MP, but recently resigned over Chinese interference allegations. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Cory Morgan

It’s only going to be a matter of time before an independent public inquiry is held to investigate alleged Chinese Communist Party interference in Canada’s democratic system. The longer the Trudeau Liberals continue to kick the can down the road, the more the leaks of damning security agency documents indicating CCP interference will pile up. Whoever the whistleblower may be, they clearly have no plan to stop releasing documents until action on the matter is taken.

National polling in mid-March found 71 percent of Canadians wanted to see a public inquiry held to look into the CCP interference matter. Since then, Global News citing national security sources alleged that MP Han Dong may have communicated to Chinese consular officials asking them to keep Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig jailed longer to avoid giving the Conservative Party of Canada some sort of political advantage. The revelation horrified Canadians.

It’s unimaginable that an elected official would work to extend the incarceration of innocent Canadian citizens by an unfriendly foreign entity. These allegations remain unproven and Mr. Dong denies them. Whether one believes in Mr. Dong’s innocence or not, clearly a thorough investigation is required now.

Politicians live and die by the polls. As it becomes clear a strong majority of Canadians won’t be satisfied with anything less than a full, independent public inquiry, we’re likely soon going to see cracks starting to form in the Liberal Party machine. Not every Liberal MP is going to be willing to go down with the ship on this issue while the prime minister intransigently refuses to allow an inquiry.

It should be remembered, a public inquiry won’t just identify guilty parties in the scandal. An inquiry can also exonerate the innocent.

A non-binding vote was held in the House of Commons last week calling for the launch of a public inquiry into the issue. While the vote may have caused a little more political embarrassment for the Liberal members opposing an inquiry, it was of no real consequence. Non-binding motions may as well just be party press releases. It’s political theatre, and the motion has no teeth behind it. The government can and will ignore such gestures in Parliament.

The current lynchpin in this whole affair is NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Holding the balance of power in a minority government situation is the best role any federal NDP leader can hope for, and that’s where Singh is today. While Singh has been vocal with calls for a public inquiry into the CCP interference scandal, he has been reticent to force the issue, though he has the ability to do it. He doesn’t want to potentially lose his position of power if Trudeau goes to an election.

Public support for an inquiry is getting so strong now, it is inconceivable the Liberal government would force an election rather than allow an inquiry to happen. Canadians don’t like early elections at the best of times. Imagine how voters would react to being forced into a general election solely because the government wants to avoid a public inquiry. It would be political suicide on the part of the Liberals, and most of their caucus surely knows this. Singh can call any bluff here.

A formal public inquiry is a powerful tool. Under the Inquiries Act, witnesses can be summoned and compelled to testify. Commissioners can be appointed to investigate and they can hire professional consultants to aid in the process. They are to be given unfettered access to documents and records kept by any public office or institution.

If any of the leaks on CCP interference were inaccurate, the inquiry will establish that. If the interference issue runs even deeper, the inquiry can expose that. There are so many questions now, only an inquiry can truly settle them.

The government needs to accept reality, pull off the band-aid, and strike a formal public inquiry into the CCP interference issue. To wait longer now is to die a death of a thousand cuts as leaks and speculation continue.

Canadians are losing faith in the democratic institution of the nation as it appears foreign efforts to interfere in the democracy remain not only unchecked but willfully covered up. This is a growing rot in the public psyche that can only be cured with a public inquiry.

Let’s get on with it.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.