Liberal government hammered over process to create independent debate commisison

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OTTAWA — Opposition MPs are furious about the Liberals’ decision to set the terms for an independent commission to organize leaders’ debates for the next election.

NDP MP David Christopherson says it is an “abysmal embarrassment” that parliamentarians on a Commons committee weren’t consulted on a move so fundamental to democracy.

Last week, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould announced that former governor general David Johnston has been nominated to lead the commission organizing two leaders’ debates for the next election — one in each official language.

Johnston appeared before a Commons committee today to explain the plans.

Christopherson says the Liberals made those plans known by decree.

The government says Johnston’s commission will report to Parliament following the 2019 debates with recommendations for a permanent commission.

The Canadian Press

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