Breaking: Ethics commissioner extends WE Charity investigation to Finance Minister Bill Morneau
OTTAWA – After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the federal Ethics Commissioner will also investigate Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s involvement in the government’s outsourcing of a $900-million student volunteer grant to WE Charity, where one of his daughters currently works.
“Following requests from several parliamentarians, Ethics Commissioner (Mario) Dion will examine the Hon. Bill Morneau under the Conflict of Interest Act (regarding) possible contraventions of subs. 6(1) & s. 21 and has so informed him. A report will be released when the examination is complete,” the commissioner’s office confirmed on social media.
Last week, Morneau’s office confirmed that he had not recused himself from his cabinet’s discussion and decision to outsource the Canada Student Service Grant to WE Charity, despite the fact that two of his daughters have ties to WE. One of his daughters currently works for the Toronto-based organization, while another has spoken at three WE events.
According to his office’s statement, the commissioner will probe if he was in conflict of interest while participating in that decision, and if he had a duty to recuse himself.
This investigation is in addition to one already launched last week by Dion on Justin Trudeau, who also admitted he had not recused himself despite his family’s very close ties to the WE organization.
The prime minister has hosted multiple “WE Day” rallies in the last decade, his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, is a “WE ambassador” and both his mother, Margaret Trudeau, and his brother, Alexandre Trudeau, have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in total speaking fees by WE since 2016.
More to come