By Charles Burton, May 31, 2023
When David Johnston appears before a Commons committee next week to discuss why his report as special rapporteur on foreign interference has been scorned by the Canadian diaspora communities being harassed by Chinese agents (and well nigh everybody else except the prime minister, his colleagues and staff for their apparent non-response to alarming allegations in leaked intelligence reports), he will be dismayed that anyone would doubt his integrity and impartiality.
Johnston appears genuinely taken aback and offended by the very negative reception his rapporteur work has been receiving.
After a long and distinguished career, now an elderly gentleman in his 80s, this rapporteur assignment is likely David Johnston’s last significant act of public service. With his Harvard and Cambridge pedigrees from the early 1960s, he is the product of a Canada that was politically dominated by a small elite of men whose attitudes of noblesse oblige to women, the lower classes and Indigenous people were matters of honour.