BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
Almost a year after the scandal began, and thanks to the continued efforts of Conservatives to expose what happened, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics issued its report on the Trudeau government’s now-cancelled deal with WE Charity.
The report outlines in detail how the prime minister gave a half-billion-dollar contract to WE Charity, an organization run by well-connected Liberals, who paid Justin Trudeau’s family members over half a million dollars in fees and expenses.
The WE organization paid $20,000 to fly the prime minister’s wife abroad for an event and spent over $10,000 to produce and promote campaign-style advertising for Justin Trudeau. To then be rewarded with a half-billion-dollar government contract is a clear example of paying-for-access.
In their attempt to hide the truth from Canadians, Liberal ministers misled the committee, sealed documents, and used every tool at their disposal to cover up their corruption. As you may recall, it was less than 24 hours after Bill Morneau resigned as finance minister and MP due his role in the WE Charity scandal that the prime minister shut down parliament in the middle of a pandemic to avoid accountability.
The committee’s report shines a light on a troubling pattern of unethical behaviour by the Trudeau Liberals and calls for stronger measures to protect against inappropriate lobbying and conflicts of interest.
Let’s not forget, this is the same prime minister that was found guilty of accepting a paid vacation on a luxury island and for his involvement in the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal.
During the last Parliament, when I was chair of the ethics committee, opposition members had attempted to have the non-partisan ethics commissioner speak to his report on the SNC-Lavalin scandal. That attempt was blocked by Liberal members of the committee.
More recently, Bill Morneau was found guilty of breaking ethics laws three times for his and his office’s role in the WE scandal.
Like my colleague Michael Barrett, Conservative Shadow Minister for Ethics, said in the House of Commons following the tabling of the committee’s report:
“Canadians deserve a government that is committed to good, ethical governance, one that does not lay out the red carpet for their friends and help them skip the queue and get the inside track in Ottawa.”
I couldn’t agree more.