Since he was first named the federal government’s special rapporteur on foreign election interference, David Johnston has been accused of being unfit for the job because of his connections to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The leaders of the Conservative and Bloc Québécois parties have both said Trudeau and Johnston are self-declared friends, that their longstanding ties are too close to allow Johnston to judge the prime minister’s actions.
But experts say determining whether someone is in a conflict of interest — and if their decisions were influenced by that conflict — isn’t entirely a matter of fact. Public perception plays a big role.
“With a conflict of interest, it is what you think it is and I think everybody has
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