The David Johnston Report and Electoral Interference

June 1, 2023

On behalf of the National Post, Leger recently surveyed Canadians about their perspectives on special rapporteur David Johnston’s recent report on foreign interference and China’s alleged interference in past Canadian elections.

SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF OUR SURVEY ON DAVID JOHNSTON’S REPORT AND ELECTORAL INTERFERENCE INCLUDE…

Alleged Chinese interference in Canadian elections

  • Almost half of Canadians (47%) say the Trudeau government has poorly handled the issue of China’s alleged interference in past Canadian elections.
  • 69% of Canadians are concerned that pressure from the Chinese government is influencing or impacting political activities in Canada.
  • 41% say Canada should adopt a more aggressive approach toward China, even if it means risking potential economic and political retaliation.

David Johnston’s Recommendation and Report

  • 36% of Canadians disagree with special rapporteur David Johnston’s recommendation not to hold a public inquiry into allegations of foreign electoral interference.
  • 46% of Canadians are aware of David Johnston’s report.
  • 50% of Canadians don’t think this report will change anything with respect to how the federal government will deal with foreign interference in the next election.
  • 40% of Canadians do not believe the recommendations made in Johnston’s report are based on foreign policy expertise and rigorous, impartial work.

Trust in Canadian institutions

  • 69% of Canadians trust Elections Canada a lot or somewhat. In comparison, 51% trust the federal government a lot or somewhat.

In March, we surveyed Chinese Canadians about their perspectives on Chinese government interference in Canada. Click here to read the report.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

  • An online survey was conducted among 1,531 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, and eligible to vote in Canada, via Leger’s online panel, LEO.
  • The data was collected from May 26 to May 29, 2023.
  • As a non-probability online survey, a margin of error is technically not reported. If the data were collected through a probability sample, the margin of error would be ±2.51%, 19 times out of 20.
  • The results were weighted according to age, gender, mother tongue, region, education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative sample of the Canadian population.

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