Updated December 03, 2018 08:55:48 ‘We want to be the party of the truth, the party that speaks truth to power and the party with integrity and fairness,’ the new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said in his inaugural address.
”I don’t want to take the place of truth and integrity in government.”
The new Liberal government will introduce a new law to give Parliament the power to create a new national crime reporting body, a new watchdog to examine the conduct of journalists and a new ethics commissioner to investigate political wrongdoing.
It also will introduce legislation to establish a commission to investigate allegations of serious misconduct in the federal election campaign.
Key points:Trudeau’s speech comes after a string of scandals in his government, including a $1.5 billion bribery scandal and the appointment of a Liberal MP who resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations.
It comes as an investigation by Fairfax Media revealed a host of stories were edited and manipulated in the media to mislead the public.
It is expected the new law will be a key component of the Liberal government’s election campaign platform.
It will also be welcomed by some of Mr Trudeau’s most ardent supporters in his conservative, anti-immigration party, including former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Mr Trudeau said in the speech that ”it is time for us to build a new political culture that reflects the principles and values of our country”.
He said the new government will bring back ”the kind of government that works for everyone, not just the privileged few who get to choose the leader, but everyone, regardless of their wealth, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity”.
The Liberals have also promised to repeal Bill C-51, which would ban people from engaging in the promotion or dissemination of fake news, and to reverse the Harper government’s decision to ban the use of social media to influence elections.
The speech comes amid growing public scrutiny of the conduct and influence of many journalists, who are also under scrutiny for covering a range of issues.
The National Post reported last week that the Liberals were considering banning the CBC and CBC News from using social media in its coverage of the government.
The Conservative government has been criticised for using social-media accounts to influence the outcome of federal elections.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said the Liberal party had never been a partisan political party.”
We have always been committed to the principles of openness, accountability and the rule of law, and will continue to work with the Opposition to make our policies work for all Canadians,” the statement said.
The Liberal government said in a statement that it would be a ”political statement” if the Liberal Party was the only party that ”would not abide by the law and act in a way that was consistent with that law”.
The Liberals were not the only government in recent years to find itself embroiled in a scandal over political activity by some journalists.
A series of investigations into the conduct by some reporters, including those at The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, The National Post and CBC, have resulted in a number of charges against the journalists.
In December, CBC News reported that the Canadian Press had been the target of a hacking attack targeting its data systems.
In January, The Guardian newspaper reported that hackers were targeting its internal systems and deleting hundreds of thousands of emails from the news outlet’s servers.
Mr Harper’s office denied that the prime minister was the target, and in a brief statement in January said that the Conservatives ”do not condone or encourage the conduct that is alleged to have occurred on their watch”.
In May, the House of Commons was rocked by allegations that the Conservative party had engaged in a ‘war’ with reporters.
The prime minister’s office was also accused of a ‘scoop job’ by the opposition NDP.
The investigation into the alleged hack was carried out by an external law firm, Simpson Thacher & Hartman LLP, and was led by lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who has previously served as Mr Harper’s personal lawyer.