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Hogue’s Past Liberal Ties Cloud Election Inquiry

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The independence of Canada’s foreign interference inquiry stands compromised before it even begins. 

Commissioner Justice Hogue’s inexcusable ties to Liberal power brokers have sabotaged this investigation’s credibility from the outset.

As Hogue moved to hobble Conservatives, she must have hoped her partisan past would stay buried. But today the truth is exposed – her Liberal links irrevocably shatter any illusion of impartiality.

By granting the Trudeau government superior powers while gagging his opposition, Hogue ripped away her mask of neutrality. Her naked partisanship leaves this inquiry dead on arrival.

Decades spent embedded alongside Liberal giants Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien make a fair hearing impossible.

What other Liberal connections are hidden in Hogue’s closet?

Beneath the surface of Justice Hogue’s appointment to lead the foreign interference inquiry in the 2019 and 2021 elections lies a web of troubling Liberal Party ties that risk tainting her supposed impartiality.

As Hogue moved to bar Conservatives equal standing, she likely hoped her past Liberal affiliations would remain obscured from public view. But deeper investigation reveals connections that irrevocably compromise her fitness to spearhead an unbiased electoral interference probe.

By denying Conservatives full participation while granting the Trudeau government superior powers, Hogue exposed the inquiry as fatally compromised. 

Under this constrained role, Conservatives can submit evidence and propose witnesses to testify. However, they are barred from cross-examining witnesses or accessing evidence outside of public hearings. This prevents Conservatives from fully scrutinizing testimony or information related to their candidates being targeted by foreign interference campaigns.

Conservative representatives blasted Hogue’s decision to grant the Liberal government full standing with powers to cross-examine witnesses, while restricting the Conservatives to limited intervenor status. 

This shocking move opened the door to intensified scrutiny of the Commissioner’s own partisan background.

Justice Hogue worked for over 25 years as a lawyer at the firm Heenan Blaikie in Montreal, where she overlapped for extended periods with two towering figures of the Liberal Party – Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien.

Hogue was employed at Heenan Blaikie from 1987 until 2014. Between 1984 and 2000, Pierre Elliott Trudeau worked out of Heenan Blaikie’s Montreal office as Counsel maintaining an active legal practice following his tenure as Liberal Prime Minister. This means Hogue and Trudeau worked for 16 years in the same firm location during their lengthy tenures.

Additionally, former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien served as Counsel at Heenan Blaikie’s Montreal branch concurrently with Hogue.

This means Hogue and the two former Liberal Prime Ministers worked concurrently in the same office of Heenan Blaikie in Montreal for over a decade and a half. While the full extent of their interactions is unclear, as colleagues in the same firm they would almost certainly have crossed paths on occasion. 

At minimum, Hogue would have been aware of her firm’s high-profile Liberal luminaries and their active legal practices. The insular nature of law office life makes it improbable that Hogue had zero professional exposure to such prominent figures holding Counsel positions and doing casework within the firm.

The revelations accentuate profound worries that the inquiry was rigged from the start to protect Liberal interests. 

Whether the ties were minor or more substantial, Hogue’s past association with two towering Liberal statesmen introduces a perceived partisan slant. This is heightened by the inquiry now directly engaging Liberal Party interests through granting the Trudeau government full standing.

The longstanding Liberal affiliation indicated by Hogue’s Heenan Blaikie connection risks clouding her judgment, intentionally or not. In denying equal participation to the Conservative opposition most impacted by foreign interference, Hogue opens herself to allegations of Liberal favoritism.

Conservative representatives have blasted the one-sided standing rights granted to the Liberals to cross-examine witnesses while denying their party the same powers. They argue this partisan arrangement irretrievably skews the inquiry findings in the government’s favor.

This perceived institutional bias compounds existing fears that Hogue lacks genuine independence, given her past ties to Liberal political royalty through Heenan Blaikie. For Conservatives, it casts doubt on whether they will get a fair hearing after being disproportionately targeted by foreign meddling campaigns.

Granting the Liberal government participatory powers unavailable to the Official Opposition delegitimizes the inquiry. Equal standing should be afforded to any political entity directly impacted by foreign electoral interference.

Excluding the federal Conservative Party while allowing the Liberal government to shape the proceedings indicates a partisan imbalance out of step with the inquiry’s mandate. The ties between Hogue and former Liberal leaders that raise perceived bias concerns also weaken her rationale for denying Conservatives full standing.

Hogue maintains that because the inquiry concerns actions of the Canadian government rather than political parties, only the federal government requires full standing at present. But this government is comprised of Liberal Party members, cabinet ministers, and the Prime Minister himself.

The Trudeau government therefore inherently represents partisan Liberal interests. Granting it privileged participation rights while denying the same to the Conservatives enables backroom Liberal influence over the inquiry.

Hogue claimed in her ruling that political parties can address foreign interference through other parliamentary channels outside the inquiry. Yet Conservatives counter that the inquiry is specifically tasked with probing such electoral meddling impacting all parties.

Including the governing party while excluding the Conservative Opposition skews the fact-finding process in the Liberals’ direction. This casts doubt on whether inquiry findings will objectively reflect how foreign interference strategies may have singled out Conservative figures.

But perhaps most concerning is Hogue’s own ties to China.

From 2011 to 2014, Heenan Blaikie hosted the offices of the Canada China Business Council or the CCBC at its Montreal headquarters. The CCBC, where Hogue was a partner and served on the management committee, promotes trade relationships between Canadian companies and China.

This demonstrates Hogue’s clear awareness, if not outright involvement, in her firm’s China business promotion initiatives as her practice overlapped with CCBC’s tenancy. Hosting such a major advocate for Canadian commercial interests in China betrays a concerning alignment with the Chinese regime’s priorities.

This is heightened by the inquiry now tackling alleged Chinese foreign influence campaigns aimed at furthering China’s political agendas in Canada. Hogue’s past proximity to CCBC raises perceived conflict between her former firm’s China business boosting and her current duty probing China’s meddling in Canadian democracy.

In 2012, while Hogue was a Heenan Blaikie partner, the firm also recruited former Liberal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon to lead its China practice. This initiative to expand legal services catering to Chinese state-connected corporate clients also occurred during Hogue’s longtime involvement at the senior levels of the firm.

This demonstrated willingness to be closely associated with Chinese business interests risks compromising Hogue’s ability to impartially oversee an inquiry into Chinese interference. Her judgment could be consciously or subconsciously influenced by Heenan Blaikie’s lucrative efforts to build ties with China.

Hogue’s perceived partisan and China-friendly background undermines her repeated pledges to run an evenhanded, non-partisan commission focused solely on gathering facts. These assurances ring hollow when contrasted with her actions disadvantaging the Conservatives while privileging the Liberals.

It evokes a glaring double standard where the governing party accused of oversight failures leading to foreign electoral meddling is granted outsized influence. Simultaneously, the targeted opposition is muzzled and restricted in defending itself against partisan-tinged terms set by an inquiry chair with her own Liberal Party baggage.

This inherent power imbalance irreparably taints any pretense of impartiality, further weakening public trust in the inquiry. With concerns already simmering, Hogue’s past firm linkages exacerbate apprehension of an agenda-driven process.

Having worked alongside Pierre Trudeau and boosted Chinese economic priorities at Heenan Blaikie, she fatally lacks credibility in investigating foreign interference against Conservatives. This perceived pro-Liberal and pro-Beijing bias transcends any hard evidence of actual favoritism by Hogue.

The extensive Liberal links uncovered in Hogue’s past explain precisely why she was hand-picked by the Trudeau government to oversee this inquiry. By selecting a chair with such clear partisan ties, the Liberals sought to embed pro-government bias structurally into the proceedings. 

With Conservatives barred from full standing, Hogue delivers the rigged, toothless investigation the Liberals want. Her presence guarantees the inquiry, like Hogue herself, is irreparably compromised by Liberal partisanship.

In the court of public opinion, both her present actions of disadvantaging Conservatives and her past Liberal Party ties have extinguished the benefit of the doubt. Hogue is indelibly perceived as harboring partisan and foreign allegiances that make a balanced inquiry impossible.

These multiplying integrity doubts will foster lasting public cynicism regardless of inquiry outcomes. The belief that processes were rigged from the outset to protect the Liberals will persist independent of the final report’s contents.

Hogue’s shady background tells a sordid tale of corruption rotting the heart of Canada’s democracy. This inquiry exposes how the Liberal establishment appoints loyal partisans to sensitive roles in order to guarantee the desired coverup. 

Hogue is just their latest stooge, appointed solely to hobble scrutiny of Liberal foreign interference failures. Her presence emblemizes an institutionally corrupt government that rigs processes to evade accountability. Canadians deserve better than this parade of partisan inquisitors marching in lockstep to shield Trudeau and his liberals.

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