Go ahead, Liberals. Rag the puck, drag it out.
The more you do this, Beijing's "elite capture" operations in Canada will just keep coming into sharper focus.
Within a couple of hours of filing this piece to the National Post yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of David Johnston as the “rapporteur” he’s chosen to run interference for him in the matter of what he knew, when he knew it and why he didn’t say or do anything about Beijing’s interference operations in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
At the news of Johnston’s appointment, all the usual press gallery yes-persons broke out in convulsions of curtseying, cap-doffing and forelock-tugging and otherwise beclowned themselves about Trudeau’s “inspired choice” for the job. It only took a couple of hours for certain awkward facts to be heard in loud whispers from the cheap seats. And those whispers soon became a dull roar, and it’s not going to go away, which pretty well proves the point I was making in my column, in print today, which was this:
With all their filibustering and obstructionist “rapporteur” manoeuvres to draw attention away from the interference operations Beijing ran on their behalf during the 2019 and 2021 elections, the Trudeau Liberals might think they’re being clever. But they’re being too clever by half.
The longer this drags out, the more light gets shed on the squalid and intimate relationship between the Liberals’ political base in this country’s wealthy and well-connected Mandarin-bloc hierarchy and the Ferrari-driving consiglieri of Beijing’s strong-arming and influence-peddling network in Canada. It’s the same circle of power.
As Real Story subscribers will see, the nice Mr. Johnston is hopelessly entangled in that same circle.
Meanwhile, Steve Chase and Bob Fife over at the Globe and Mail have some bombshell front-page revelations from CSIS today about the icy hands from that same circle has been around the throats of municipal politicians in Vancouver. And you should read it once you’re done here.
Before we even touch on the innumerably sketchy and compromising entries in David Johnston’s curriculum vitae, I should straightaway admit that I come to this from a particularly jaundiced perspective. It goes back to July 13, 2017. I remember it like it was yesterday, because it was probably the only time in my life that I was genuinely ashamed to be Canadian, and Johnston was the reason why.
First, you need to know something about Liu Xiaobo. It’s likely a name you’re not familiar with. His memory in China has been obliterated by the tens of thousands of official snitches and censors employed by Beijing’s vast surveillance state apparatus. In Canada it’s the height of bad manners to mention his name in polite company. So I will bloody well mention his name here.
Liu Xiaobo was China’s Nelson Mandela. A writer, philosopher and human rights activist, Liu had already spent years in and out of jails and forced-labour camps for his leadership in China’s non-violent democracy movement when he was sentenced to 11 years in prison, on charges of suspicion of subversion, on December 8, 2008.
After Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, Beijing punished the Nobel Committee’s host country Norway by shutting down all diplomatic relations and trade exchanges. Just one of the trade shocks: Norway’s share of China’s salmon imports quickly plummeted from 92 per cent to 29 per cent.
In 2017, Liu’s monthly “checkups” at the Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning strangely failed to detect the advanced stages of liver cancer he was suffering, until May 31. In the following weeks, the European Union and the U.S. State Department pleaded with Xi Jinping to allow Liu to leave China for proper treatment. Xi said no.
When Liu died on July 13 that year, it was the first time a Nobel laureate had died in prison since the death of the pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in a Nazi concentration camp in 1938. Said Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire: “We can clearly state that Liu Xiaobo was murdered by lack of care.”
The very moment Liu Xiaobo breathed his last breath in this world, David Johnston was stuffing his face and smiling for the cameras with Xi Jinping at a banquet in Beijing. And no, I will not forget this because I can’t, because I remember it like it was yesterday.
After you’ve finished here, if you like, here’s some backstory on all this I wrote for the Ottawa Citizen back in 2017, and for Maclean’s magazine, where I dug a little deeper. I will let other people cavil about how deucedly impolite it is to doubt the nice Mister Johnston’s integrity. They can bang on as they choose about how after all, Conservatives and Liberals alike have admired Johnston and appreciated his probity and rectitude. I don’t care. Leave me out of it.
Can we please at least remember what is going on here?
This country is in the midst on an unprecedented national-security scandal. CSIS has revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been the happily compliant object of an elaborate influence operation run out of Beijing since 2013, and his family was already notoriously beguiled by China going back to papa and Mao Zedong, and it was a neurotic and messianic family obsession that never let up.
The Trudeau Liberals have employed every sleazy tactic in the book to prevent the House of Commons from voting on a resolution calling for a public inquiry into China’s election-interference operations on the Liberals’ behalf in 2019 and 2021. Just one of those tactics is Trudeau’s invention of a job called “Independent Special Rapporteur” to advise him on whether or not to permit a public inquiry into what the hell has been going on here.
Johnston’s job is to run interference for Justin Trudeau in this scandal. That’s all there is to it. Johnston is beholden to Trudeau, Trudeau is beholden to Johnston, and they are both deeply compromised by their relationships with Beijing’s emissaries and bagmen in Canada, and by their associations with the Montreal-centred corporate China lobby. And putting on the mask of an “independent” interlocutor is not the first time Johnston has scratched Justin Trudeau’s back, and not the first time Johnston has carried Xi Jinping’s water in Canada.
It’s way worse than you think.