David Johnston looks on during a a farewell reception in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Special rapporteur David Johnston is expected to release his decision Tuesday on whether the federal Liberals should hold a public inquiry on foreign interference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

David Johnston expected to begin public meetings on foreign interference next month

Former governor general David Johnston says he will begin holding public meetings next month on foreign interference attempts in Canada’s elections.

Johnston, whom Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed to investigate the issue, is appearing before a parliamentary committee today for a marathon three hours of testimony.

Johnston released a report last month that found significant shortcomings in the way the federal government handles intelligence about alleged foreign meddling.

Opposition parties agree that the 2019 and 2021 federal election results were not compromised, but they still say a public inquiry is the only way for Canadians to feel confident in their electoral system.

Johnston says a public inquiry is not the right path because making secret information public would run the risk of breaching the trust of Canada’s security allies and endangering intelligence sources.

Johnston says that during his hearings, the public will be able to hear from government representatives, national security officials and members of the diaspora community.