Trudeau continues to stand by David Johnston despite calls that he step down

Trudeau stands by Johnston

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is committed to keeping David Johnston in place as Canada's special rapporteur on foreign interference, despite a majority of MPs voting in favour of his stepping down from the gig.

Trudeau said in Toronto today that he looks forward to public hearings the governor general is expected to hold "across the country" over the coming months before he releases a final report by the end of October.

The House of Commons passed an NDP motion earlier this week, with the support of Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs, that urged Johnston to step aside and asked the government to call a public inquiry.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said in Winnipeg today that Johnston has to go but wouldn't name a potential replacement, saying all parties must work together to agree on a new watchdog with a track record of objectivity.

Poilievre has criticized the special rapporteur role as a "fake job" and questioned Johnston's ability to objectively scrutinize the Liberal government's handling of alleged foreign meddling because of his ties to the Trudeau family.

Johnston has defended his integrity and downplayed his connections to the prime minister, saying this week he intends to stay on in his role.

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