MPs debate launching investigation into PM’s WE Charity involvement, agree to respect family privacy

published on July 18, 2020

I'm aware and i and i am uh i'm sure that i'll hear from uh members of the liberal party that it wasn't a sole source procurement but we heard yesterday from civil servants that this was not a tendered contract there was no tendering process

There was no rfp uh the contention is we wanted to get it done fast so we did it okay but why was this why was this organization selected there's a few distinctions about this organization that are a matter of the

Public record that um that need to be considered one of those considerations is that members of justin trudeau's family including his mother margaret and his brother

Alexander uh together benefited more than 300 000 uh in dealings with this organization with we charity we know that the prime minister's wife is a as a spokesperson

For this organization we know that justin trudeau is um is regularly involved with this organization as well we know that uh that miss gregoire trudeau did at one time receive a speaking fee

From this organization as well uh prior to uh justin trudeau taking office as uh as prime minister so that's all that's a lot of money that's not an insignificant amount of

Money when we're talking about um hundreds of thousands of dollars nearly uh eleven thousand dollars per engagement uh for miss margaret trudeau uh that's significant

We're here to talk about this first motion and i heard from multiple members about how it would be inappropriate to call um to call members uh of family members of an elected official to this committee

And that that was again it was inferred that that's what was on offer here absolutely not i'll tell you the only member of the trudeau family that i want to see at this committee is justin

If he wants to come to this committee that would satisfy me to to no end um but that's not consistent with the behavior of prime minister justin trudeau he obstructed the ethics

Commissioner's investigation in the snc lavlin scandal that is a fact that is a matter of public record it is in the trudeau report too uh he invoked cabinet confidence which

We heard from minister chagar in the house that that was not the case when i asked her in committee uh two weeks ago it's a fact did not wave cabinet confidence as

Promised it is definitely within the purview of our committee to investigate uh ethical breaches within public office holders but to my colleagues statement it is

Also a very important obligation within our committee that we handle these matters in a manner that is respectful and that is not dragging other people in so when mr

Anders andrews with the former liberal was going after dean del mastro and i fought dean del master every single day that he was here uh i said that we had to have a proper process

And that's very important because we are not a kangaroo court here i think the issue of the trudeau family being involved we have to be very careful of because madame trudeau

Sophie gregoire has done a lot of really very impressive things i have no interest in bringing her in any way into this story margaret trudeau has inspired many

People by her incredible work as a public spokesperson i think it is a very terrible situation that we are even having to discuss margaret trudeau

Why this issue matters is about we and the relationship uh to the trudeau government because what we learned and i was very surprised to learn this that we began to hire members of the trudeau

Family after justin trudeau became prime minister and then we learned that other key people who for example julie black an incredible public figure was not paid theo fleury

Wasn't paid so it raises the question whether or not there was attempt to buy political influence that to me is the issue before us i think if the liberals are concerned

About how we have documents on members of the trudeau family i share that concern i don't know that we're here to to go after uh justin's brother who is a filmmaker uh if he's a spokesperson for we and he

Got paid by them he probably thought they were paying them because of his incredible skill as a filmmaker that may be why he signed up our issue is whether or not there was an attempt

To buy the influence of the government because the financial interests of the trudeau family and we have become very convoluted and very connected so that's what we need to clarify

So if the liberals want to put a motion about how we discuss this so that we are not bringing the trudeau family and embarrassing them for their work that they do on the sidelines but the prime minister should have known

That because of those financial links that this would have put him in a conflict this is the prime minister's responsibility i would like to see the liberals say to

Us okay here's a deal we will bring the prime minister to this committee and he will speak as to why he didn't think it was a problem that his family was being paid and that he was awarding this out it's

The prime minister's responsibility that i'm interested in it's bill moreno's responsibility that i'm interested in it's katie telford as chief of staff who should have been looking after her prime minister and

Putting some kind of big um ethical mitts around him so he didn't keep putting his finger in the in the conflict of interest socket that's what i'm interested in but i'm not interested

In our committee being used to go after the individual members of the trudeau family and i agree that we we can put in a limit on how that's done we can talk about that but i would like the liberals to

Tell us that they're going to have that prime minister sit here and explain why he put his family in that position here but i did want to remind members of this committee in my early learnings

Under our conflict of interest it is very clear so despite the very liberal definitions of conflict of interest i thought it'd be important for this committee to add the following

Contribution that family members relatives are included seven times in the conflict of interest act and that the following are the members of a public office holder's family

For the purpose of his act his spouse or her spouse or common-law partner and his dependent or dependent children and dependent children of his or her spouse or common law partner again no interest in bringing any of

Those people before the committee but relatives are persons who are related to a public office holder by birth by marriage by common law partnership adoption or affinity of the public

Office holders relatives for the purpose of the act unless the commissioner determines otherwise and i'll go further to state later on in part one of the conflict of

Interest rules that for the purpose of this act a public office holder is in conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power

Duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends neighbors to improperly further any person's

Private interests i think that's a very germane and important point

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