Trudeau says he didn’t censor India trip report
PMO pushes back against claims of political meddling with new committee’s findings
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flatly denied allegations on Tuesday that his office censored a report looking into his February trip to India. Both the opposition Conservatives and New Democrats criticized the heavily-censored report. OTTAWA— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says neither he nor his office ordered a report into his ill-fated India trip to be censored, pushing back against opposition suggestions his office removed politically-sensitive information in the unclassified version of the report.
Both the opposition Conservatives and New Democrats criticized the heavilycensored report, prepared by an all-party committee of MPs and senators, suggesting the prime minister held back embarrassing information from the report’s public release.
Trudeau flatly denied those allegations in the House of Commons Tuesday, stating nobody in the Prime Minister’s Office requested any section of the report to be censored.
“Neither I nor my office requested or directed any redactions,” Trudeau said.
“A proposal was made by the security and intelligence community (for redactions), and we accepted. We did no extra redacting, we did no under-redacting. We accepted the advice of the professionals.”
The report, which examined multiple security aspects of Trudeau’s February sojourn to India, was released by the new National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).
It’s a cross-partisan committee, with representatives from the three major parties. PARIS—Trying to quell its most serious political crisis, the government of President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that it would suspend the gasoline tax increase that had set off three weeks of increasingly violent protests in Paris and around France by the Yellow Vest movement.
The step was an extraordinary concession by a president who has refused to bend to previous protests and plummeting poll numbers as he pushes through changes that he insists are necessary to make France’s economy more competitive.
Whether it was enough to appease the Yellow Vests’ varied complaints about the declining living standards of the French working class was far from clear. But there was little doubt that the gesture was intended as a nod to widespread anger over perceived economic injustice, and to blunt the momentum of a popular revolt that now threatens Macron’s agenda.
“No tax warrants putting the unity of the nation in danger,” Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said after briefing lawmakers in a closed-door meeting in Parliament. “One would have to be deaf and blind not to see or hear the anger.”
The gas tax increase, which was scheduled to start in January and was equivalent to about 6.6 cents a litre, proved to be a tipping point in a country that already has some of the highest taxes in Europe.
Lionel Cucchi, a spokesperson in Marseille, told BFM TV that protesters were prepared to continue.
“There’s no guarantee it won’t be back in six months,” he said of the gas tax. “There will be more demonstrations. We remain mobilized.”
The government also said it would also delay new vehicle inspection measures and increases in electricity rates that were intended as part of Macron’s plans to transition France toward cleaner energy.