Trudeau Apologizes For Not Recusing Himself From WE Charity Contract Talks, Decision

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John Feldsted
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

Trudeau Apologizes For Not Recusing Himself From WE Charity Contract Talks, Decision

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The prime minister conceded he should not have been involved “given our family’s history.”

By Ryan Maloney
Huffpost politics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized for not recusing himself from his government’s decision to tap WE Charity to administer a $912-million student-grant program, conceding he should have known better because of his family’s connections to the organization.

“I made a mistake in not recusing myself immediately from the discussions, given our family’s history,” Trudeau said at a press briefing in Ottawa Monday. “And I’m sincerely sorry about not having done that.”

The mea culpa is a reversal for the prime minister, who last week defended taking part in discussions to award WE Charity a sole-sourced contract to run the program on the grounds that he has championed supporting young people throughout his political career. The government and WE Charity have scrapped the deal for the organization to manage the Canada Student Service Grant, which will pay post-secondary students and recent graduates for COVID-19-related volunteer work.

Trudeau’s apology comes days after revelations that his mother, Margaret, and brother, Alexandre, have each been paid tens of thousands of dollars over the past few years to speak at WE Charity events. Trudeau had already been facing questions about the abandoned partnership, given his past participation in WE events and the fact that his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, is an “ambassador” for the charity and hosts a WE-Well Being podcast. ... cahpmgpols


Trudeau just can’t “get it”. He has attended WE Charity events to promote WE. His wife is an ambassador for WE. He cannot get involved in government business with the WE Charity. That is not difficult to understand.

Government officials cannot do business with family members or good friends or do business with any entity that can be perceived as beneficial to family, friends or other persons.

Trudeau claimed he was assisting SNC-Lavalin to save jobs. The ethics commissioner disagreed. He could not interfere with the justice system for any reason.

Trudeau claimed he was long time friends with the Aga Khan and so his Christmas holiday on his island resort was ‘normal’. The ethics commissioner disagreed. He could not accept tangible gifts in his official position.

The Conflict of Interest Act exists to ensure that there is no perception of corruption in our government. That is highly important in our international relationships and when we need to borrow money. It is not something that can be treated casually.

The PMO has a staff of nearly 400 officers and minions. The notion that the group cannot warn the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers of potential conflicts of interests to avoid any perception of corruption is not credible. The only conclusion we can draw is that the Cabinet does not take conflicts of interest seriously.

Finance Minister Morneau is even worse. He apologized but only committed to not discussing WE in the future. He already had his wrists slapped by the ethics commissioner for failing to disclose his properties in France. He does not recognize that he may have many other potential conflicts in his roles as Finance Minister and member of the Cabinet. Distancing himself from WE is hypocritical. He missed the boat.

We need to get rid of this snotty lot of elitist, entitled snobs.

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