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Singh asks Trudeau for certain conditions before getting security clearance

Last Updated May 25, 2023 at 1:29 pm MDT

New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks with reports before attending Question Period, in Ottawa on May 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is asking the prime minister to allow more members of his party to briefed on foreign interference attempts, after the leaders of the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois declined to obtain the required security clearance.

Singh says in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today that he wants those two spots given to members of his team who would accompany him in the briefings. 

Singh is also asking Trudeau for a briefing on how much he can and cannot say after reviewing the intelligence, and for assurance that his ability to criticize the Liberal government won’t be constrained. 

Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre and Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet both suggested in rejecting Trudeau’s offer that it seemed like a way to trap them into agreeing not to speak about the allegations in public. 

Special rapporteur David Johnston said in his first report on foreign interference Tuesday that opposition leaders should take the opportunity to see how he reached his conclusions about alleged interference attempts in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. 

Johnston said the confidential information would be provided to those who got the right security clearance. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2023. 

The Canadian Press