Dale Smith has an excellent column Exit David Johnston about the resignation, and what might happen next:
Shorter David Johnston: https://t.co/1Kl7H9fed8— Dale Smith (@journo_dale) June 9, 2023
Once again -- as it was with SNC Lavelin, JWR, WE -- the ultimate goal was always to find something that would force Trudeau to resign in disgrace. So now the parliamentarians who spent the last six months trashing Johnston are perishing the thought that they ever intended to tarnish HIS reputation:None of this solves the underlying problem that a public inquiry is not magic.Everyone demanding one seems to think it can be wrapped up in the space of a few months, and that can be broad enough in scope to fully understand how deep Chinese infiltration goes into our country, while also providing concrete recommendations for protecting the next election. That’s not going to happen in a few months—that kind of scoping takes years, and is not going to get to the fundamental issue here, which is that this is ultimately a process story about the machinery of government, dealing with classified information, and that a public inquiry can’t hear most of it.That is, if they can find someone to head it who meets everyone’s satisfaction and who is willing to put themselves through the character assassination that will follow.
Cue the “he’s a good man” lines from chorus of assholes who maligned David Johnson the last few months as a partisan “ski buddy”.— Flavio Volpe (@FlavioVolpe1) June 9, 2023
When you eat your own, people notice.
Scrimshaw writes about the larger issues in his column David Johnson's Necessary Exit:
Agreed. Let’s not forget the hatchet jobs they engaged to rid their own party of members who didn’t align with the Convoy Party. Like the member from Quebec, Fast, O’Toole, Brown, Charest…the list is long.— CMM (@Carmie3xVax) June 10, 2023
I’m unsure of the value of a public inquiry at this point, but it’s the will of the House Of Commons that there should be one so we should have one. At this point there’s been two stories mixed together, which is Bob Fife and the Globe’s reporting mostly centered on what China has tried to do and our institutional failures to solve any of it, and then Sam Cooper’s bullshit. Cooper’s bullshit has been found out to be that, but it’s obscuring that there are a lot of real issues here.Now, most of those issues aren’t necessarily – or, at this point, are clearly not – political failures, except in the sense that the Ministers responsible for CSIS have overall responsibility for their actions. ...What we have now is a country that doesn’t have any reason to doubt the results of the next election but does have a lot of doubt about the competence of people who are supposedly running very important parts of this country. This is a clusterfuck of epic proportions, and my advice to those on the left would be to stop defending David Johnston and start trying to bring the conversation back to the governance failures.We know Pierre Poilievre will act with his narrow self interest above the national one, so bitching about that is a waste of time. There are a lot of things that need to be solved – Friday’s Power & Politics had a expert panel on about those issues – and a ticking clock. Trying to focus on CSIS reform, information sharing inside government, and additional technocratic fixes while an inquiry works on the big picture stuff will have the dual benefits of being good for our country and a political boon for the Liberals....the broadest problem [is] that the diaspora doesn’t fucking trust CSIS.Half the time CSIS views Chinese Canadians as sympathizers and the other half of the time they’re dismissed as alarmist. There is no faith that if a member of the community tries to do anything about what’s going on – be it about election interference or broader intimidation – that CSIS will do anything. You have CSIS investigating a former Liberal Cabinet Minister in Ontario for 13 years without doing anything, but clear and credible threats to the welfare of the diaspora go uninvestigated and ignored.At the end of the day, the government has to actually do something about the active problem they face, not just the risk of bad PR they’re dealing with, and if the government continues to stumble from point to point like I will be in 3 hours, then they’re going to continue to fail both on a political and a governance level. This is not an easy issue but it is an issue where the road forward is clear....the Government has to step up to the plate with a serious offer on a public inquiry, and a serious internal reform agenda for CSIS.
What's this? Accusing Trudeau now of a "cover-up" of "help from Beijing"? Yeah, so that's going to be the next line of attack, isn't it.
Trudeau has been flailing around for months trying to cover up the help he got from Beijing’s Communist government.— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) June 9, 2023
He has destroyed the reputation of a former Governor General all to cover up his own refusal to defend Canada from foreign interests and threats.
He must end his…
Johnston was never the target. Trudeau is resilient and has survived all vicious and relentless personal attacks since he first ran for MP. So CPC attacks anyone who doesn’t publicly loath him with intent to make people afraid for their own safety to be seen with him.— @JohnBeggs (@dbeggs13) June 10, 2023
Smear an eminent Canadian in order to prevent one's own foreign connections/support from seeing the light of day.— Diane Marie (@DianeMariePosts) June 10, 2023
... You can tell the Trudeau government is really badly rattled when it starts doing what it should have done in the first place....I take LeBlanc at his word when he claims to be seeking input in good faith. As a general rule, his arrival tends to mark an improvement in this government’s handling of a difficult file. But just to be on the safe side, it’s worth saying some obvious things clearly.The opposition parties should give input when asked. It’s useful for each of them to go through the exercise of conceiving in detail the proper handling of the election-interference file. And it’s good of the government to ask, albeit way later than it should have.But everything LeBlanc plans to ask them — whether to have an inquiry, who should lead it, its mandate and deadlines and legal justification — remains the responsibility of the government. If the opposition parties chicken out, or play dumb games, or deadlock, or suggest people who decline to participate, the responsibility for designing a workable policy remains the government’s....LeBlanc kept saying an inquiry should be run by someone “eminent.” I mean…sure? Whatever? I suppose eminence shouldn’t be actively disqualifying, at least....When LeBlanc said our democracy depends on rising above partisanship, I thought, Uh-oh, and I started thinking about objects or creatures that don’t normally rise above much. Which led to a mental image of ostriches trying to fly. I actually have seen non-partisanship, many times, including from some of the most partisan operators in Canadian politics. But I still wouldn’t bet on it happening in any particular case. The incentives run all the other way. To insulate against it, politicians might want to read the latest from Alliance Canada Hong Kong, the diaspora group that has been chronicling foreign interference for years, for whom the issue is not a fun partisan football and the prospect of testifying yet again, to educate some eminent commissioner, is not appealing.I keep saying the under-served constituency in this country is the people who would like to see serious problems treated seriously....
UPDATE: An hour after I posted, I saw these two tweets - very interesting:
My two cents - the PM will announce “ You want a public inquiry? Then, fine. We’ll have one, but its focus will be on ALL foreign interference, not just Chinese.”— Bluenoser Forever (@long17_de) June 9, 2023
Careful what you wish for, Conservatives.
Looks like a good start, sniping didn't stall all progress.— G Godwin (@gill_godwin) June 10, 2023
Back in 2010 Richard Fadden had thoughts too. https://t.co/ZXMPcVF9kH