Canada

Monday, July 13, 2020 - 15:10

MNI POLICY: Trudeau: Should Have Recused From Charity Contract


--Liberal Government Needs Opposition Support to Stay in Power

OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his decision to approve a CAD900 million contract for a youth charity was a mistake because of his family's financial ties to the organization, his first major comments on an issue that endangers the stability of his minority government.

Trudeau said he should have stayed out of any consideration of a contract for the WE Charity that was recommended by public servants. He also knew his family had been involved with the group but not the amounts they had been paid. Media reports over the past week have revealed speaking fees for Trudeau's mother and brother worth more than a quarter million dollars.

"I should have known the details, and I regret that," he said of the payments to family members at a press conference. "I should have recused myself. Canadians will make their judgments."

The contract to create student volunteer positions has since been canceled. The Bloc Quebecois party has asked Trudeau to step aside during an ethics investigation and the Conservatives have asked police if a criminal investigation is warranted.

Trudeau has been investigated twice before by parliament's ethics officer and found to have violated guidelines.

The Bloc, Conservatives and the smaller NDP opposition party would likely all have to defeat the Liberals on a confidence vote to force an election. That's unlikely in the short term with Parliament on summer break, the Conservatives in the middle of a leadership race and the nation still fighting Covid-19.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; +1 613-314-9647; email: greg.quinn@marketnews.com
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: jean.yung@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: M$C$$$,MC$$$$]

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