The commissioner of conflict of interest and ethics, Mario Dion
3 July 2020 11: 47
Updated at 18: 45
Scholarship program: the ethics commissioner will conduct an investigation
The canadian Press
OTTAWA — the office of The conflict of interest, announced on Friday that it will investigate whether the prime minister Justin Trudeau has contravened the act when the federal government chose the body STATES (WE) to manage a federal program of $ 900 million to pay for students and new graduates to the volunteer that they will do this summer.
Earlier Friday, the government and STATES (WE) had indicated that they had put an end to this agreement. This announcement occurred just days after the prime minister himself had stated that this organization was the only option to ensure the success of the program.
This will be instead of the officials who will administer the scholarships related to the pandemic, said Mr. Trudeau.
Since the charitable organization founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, has been designated to manage the program, last week, the agreement has been criticized because of the close relationship of Mr. Trudeau with the group. His wife, him and his mother have all been involved in events and activities of STATES.
This decision had led the conservative Party and the New democratic Party called for an investigation of commissioner Mario Dion.
On Friday, Mr. Dion advised the conservative mp Michael Barrett and his colleague, new democrat Charlie Angus that he will inquire on this matter and that he put Mr. Trudeau in power.
In the letter sent to Mr. Barrett, Mr. Dion says that he will try to determine if the prime minister has contravened the articles of the Law on conflicts of interest prohibiting “any public office holder shall make a decision or participate in making a decision in the exercise of his office if he knows or ought reasonably to know, that, in taking this decision, it could find itself in a situation of conflict of interests (article 6 of the Law).
In a micromessage circulated on Twitter, the office of the commissioner also indicates that there is investigation into “possible violations” in articles 7 (“it is forbidden for any holder of public office to grant, in the exercise of his official duties, preferential treatment to a person or a body function of another person, or other organization retained to represent one or the other) and 21 (“the public office holder shall recuse himself or herself from any discussion, decision, debate or vote, in respect of any question which could place him in a situation of conflict of interest”).
Experts in charitable giving were also asked if US was ready for the refined management of such an important program funded by the government.
Mr. Trudeau reiterated Friday morning that its close relations with united STATES have made sure that it had belonged to the public service to decide how to manage the program and to set??the implementation of what he called the process “transparent and open”, and finally they opt for US.
Speaking to journalists, Mr. Trudeau lamented what he called the “unfortunate” sequence of events in the last few days. He said that the government supported the decision of the organization.
He added that there could be things that federal officials would not be as well placed to do, such as the active recruitment of students – there have already been 35 000 candidates in the program according to the number revealed by STATES, surpassing the initial expectations of 20 000, as well as the support of small groups with the integration and training of volunteers.
“One of the things that ends up happening is that the young people may not have the same access to programs (…) that they would have had,” said Mr. Trudeau.
“We will continue to work very hard, and we need to think carefully as to what exactly happened and how we can ensure that we will do a better job to support young people in the months and years to come.”
The federal program must pay up to $ 5000 in scholarships to young people who will make up to 500 volunteer hours. It is intended for students who have not found work this summer due to the pandemic of COVID-19.
In his statement, the minister Chagger indicates that volunteers who have already registered should not be penalized. It also ensures that UNITED will refund the sums already received from the federal government for this sole-source contract.
The liberals had reserved approximately $ 19 million to the organization to administer the program, but the final amount depends on the number of young people who have joined.
The charity has not said how much he had received or repaid, referring instead to a statement that “reflects all that we have to say about it.”
In the declaration, STATES noted the ongoing controversy related to his involvement in the program to explain its decision, even if “the government has provided explanations to all questions.
The statement adds that the organisation feared that affiliation continues, means that “the program itself will start to suffer, and, therefore, the opportunities for students could be negatively affected”.