Justin Trudeau testifies before the finance committee about the case STATES.
30 July 2020 15: 07
Updated at 16h23
Case STATES: Justin Trudeau testifies before the committee on finance [VIDEO]
The canadian Press
OTTAWA — “The organization STATES has not received preferential treatment, nor of me, nor of anyone else”, has hammered the prime minister Justin Trudeau during a rare appearance before a committee of the House of commons, on Thursday afternoon.
For an hour and a half, Mr. Trudeau will be questioned on the events that led up to his liberal cabinet to request the united STATES to oversee a program of 912 million $ to grant scholarships to students and graduates through volunteer work.
In her introductory remarks, the prime minister has said that he learned for the first time that the united STATES would administer a volunteer program student on may 8, a few hours before a meeting of his council of ministers, where they had to discuss.
Until then, it was expected that youth Service Canada manages the program.
“When I learned, we recommended that STATES I had any questions. I wanted to be sure that the proposal to call upon STATES to implement the program had been closely examined,” noted the prime minister.
Mr. Trudeau said that the public service returned to him on may 21, reaffirming its decision that UNITED was the only organization that could administer the volunteer program student. He said that the choice was between going ahead with the program, with the help of the united STATES, or not to go forward with the program at all.
He once again apologized for it not to be objected to discussions in the cabinet.
“I know that appearances can harm a good program. And of course, this is exactly what happened here and it really is a shame especially because this is a program that could be very important for the students and for our communities”, he lamented.
Mr. Trudeau has also said that he was not aware of the sums that had been paid to his mother, his brother and his wife by STATES for public appearances. He has not been able to identify these amounts when he was pressed for questions by the opposition.
It has also been hammered by questions about his ethics.
The conservative mp Pierre Poilievre reminded him that he had already been blamed on two occasions by the ethics commissioner – the first time for his trip paid for by the Aga Khan and the second time for the case of SNC-Lavalin.
“That is what happens when you have three shots?” asked the mp Poilievre.
Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to appear for an hour and a half, 30 minutes longer than what was planned.
The chief of cabinet of Mr. Trudeau, Katie Telford, must also testify Thursday.
But even the liberals must not think that the controversy will end after the appearance of the prime minister, will warn the conservatives.
Speaking on Thursday morning in Regina, Saskatchewan, the leader of the conservative Party Andrew Scheer has said that the opposition will ensure that this history will continue to haunt the government for the rest of the summer and through the fall.
“Today, this is not the end of this story”, he dropped.