BREAKING: Trudeau's Chief of Staff will testify on Chinese interference

The Prime Minister's Office has confirmed that Justin Trudeau's Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, will testify at the House of Commons on foreign electoral interference.

BREAKING: Trudeau's Chief of Staff will testify on Chinese interference
The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
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Trudeau's office also gave special rapporteur David Johnston until May 23 to recommend the utility of additional mechanisms — like a formal public inquiry  to broach Chinese interference.

Trudeau told reporters Tuesday morning that Johnston will have access to all relevant documents, including classified information.

Johnston has until the end of October to complete his review of foreign interference issues and make further recommendations for how the government should proceed.

Ottawa's decision to permit Telford's testimony at committee made a Tuesday vote on demanding her appearance null and void.

Liberal MPs filibustered the Procedures and House Affairs committee for several weeks to prevent a similar motion that would compel Telford to appear.

The announcement on Telford's testimony came moments after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party would back the Conservative motion if the government refused to stop filibustering at the committee.

Singh insisted on a public inquiry before pivoting to attack the Liberals and Conservatives, who he accused of wanting to score political points at the committee for it to do the best job.

Trudeau's opposition has demanded the government reveal more information about what Beijing tried to do, what the prime minister knew and what he did about it. 

However, the prime minister said earlier Monday he wanted to treat the issue of foreign interference with the seriousness it deserves while accusing Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre of turning the matter into a "political circus."

Though Trudeau has yet to call for an inquiry, he claimed he would listen if Johnston recommends one.

"It goes to show how important the issue of foreign interference is, and I'm actually pleased to contrast the approach that we've taken," he said.

Trudeau added the Liberals follow "an expert process that will dig into this in a nonpartisan way."

The prime minister appointed Johnston, a former governor general, last week amid allegations Beijing attempted to influence the results of the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Top-secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) documents unveiled that China actively protected its "Canadian friends" network that covertly gathered information from MPs and senators.

They desired a minority Liberal government led by Trudeau to defeat Conservatives deemed "unfriendly" to Beijing in the 2021 federal election.

The top-secret CSIS reports outlined the tactics used by China, which included disinformation campaigns, undeclared cash donations, and using international students to volunteer for preferred Liberal candidates.

The government and opposition parties claim the attempts did not compromise the validity of past federal elections, a contention backed by CSIS.

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