Ottawa (WNews)- Finance Minister Bill Morneau is now officially under the Ethics Commissioner investigation for the WE Charity scandal after Pierre Poilievre and Michael Cooper filed a complaint. See letter by Mario Dion from the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner at the bottom of the article.
Opposition MPs asked Mario Dion to review Morneau’s role after Canadian news outlets such as CBC News reported that his daughter, Grace, works for the charity in its travel department. Another of Morneau’s daughters, Clare, has volunteered for the organization and been a speaker at past WE Day events.
New information has come to light, including payment from We Charity to Justin Trudeau‘s brother and mother for speaking at Me to We Day events.
The commissioner has started investigating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on similar grounds. Trudeau’s mother and brother have been paid thousands of dollars to speak at WE events, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast for the charity. This is Trudeau’s third ethics investigation in 4 years.
The most recent investigation was the Snc-Lavalin Group Inc scandal in 2019. The SNC–Lavalin affair was a political scandal involving attempted political interference with the justice system by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The Commissioner Dion found that Trudeau improperly influenced then Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in an ongoing criminal case against Quebec-based construction company SNC-Lavalin
Dion said he would investigate whether Morneau should have recused himself given these family ties to the organization.
Section 21 of the Conflict of Interest Act stipulates that a public office-holder such as Morneau “shall recuse himself or herself from any discussion, decision, debate or vote on any matter in respect of which he or she would conflict with interest.”
Section 6(1) stipulates that no public officer should make a decision or participate in making a decision “if the public office holder knows or reasonably should know that, in the making of the decision, he or she would conflict with interest.”
“Once again, the ethics commissioner has opened an investigation into a Trudeau Liberal Minister,” Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett said in a statement.
“It’s also clear that a criminal investigation is warranted. Conservatives will continue to hold the prime minister and his government accountable for this scandal. We will not rest until Canadians have answers,” he said.
Both Trudeau and Morneau have apologized for not recusing themselves from the cabinet talks, saying they should never have been part of such discussions given their close personal ties to the charity.
The government maintains it was the public service that first recommended WE as the best pick for the contract, given its nationwide reach and its experience connecting students with volunteer opportunities.
The sole-sourced contract would have given WE the authority to administer more than $900 million in public funds to eligible students.
WE Charity has since cut ties with the grant program and will forego the $19.5 million Ottawa earmarked for the charity in compensation. The charity has announced a significant restructuring of its internal operations after weeks of increased public scrutiny.
Letter Mario Dion from the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
WNews is the place to be for the latest global news. Starting in 2012 as WorldNewsNetwork7, we want to bring the news back to the news with unbiased reporting of the news. We believed that news should be honest and trustworthy.
WNews is a W-World Brand, a Canadian-based company.