United STATES: the liberals fall behind Morneau, while the opposition calls for his head
The canadian Press
OTTAWA — While the conservatives continue to claim the head of Bill Morneau after the latter had revealed that he had enjoyed a trip paid for in part by the agency (U.S.) (“WE Charity”, in English), the federal liberals fall behind their minister of Finance.
Mr. Morneau has appeared before the parliamentary committee on Finance, Wednesday, at the request of the opposition parties, to make the point on a contract of $ 900 million that had been awarded to STATES to administer a volunteer program of the student. The organization and the federal government have since put an end to the agreement.
The mother, the wife, and the brother of the prime minister Justin Trudeau have received fees totalling over $ 300,000 of united STATES. One of the daughters of Mr. Morneau is a contract employee of a division of the organization, and another has spoken to US, without being paid.
Mr. Morneau said Wednesday that he had taken a cheque of more than 41 000 $ in STATES, just prior to his appearance, to pay off certain expenses that had been paid by the organization in the context of two aid trips in 2017 which members of his family and him have participated. The minister was present at one of the two trips.
He also revealed that he and his wife have donated $ 100,000 to UNITED in the last two years.
Mr. Morneau had already apologized for not be disqualified from discussions of the ministerial cabinet on the subject of STATES, having regard to the appearance of a conflict of interest with his girls; on Wednesday, he also apologized for not being aware of the sums of money he owed to STATES to cover some travel expenses by 2017.
On Thursday, the conservatives have formally demanded that the minister of Finance resigns. They had done the day before also, stating that he had “lost the moral authority to govern” by violating, most likely, several articles contained in the Law on conflict of interests.
The act prohibits, among others, to the ministers and their family members from accepting trips paid because this could be seen as an attempt to influence.
“Why Justin Trudeau did the fires not? That is the question”, reiterated Pierre Poilievre, spokesman conservative in matters of finance, at a press conference held in Ottawa on Thursday morning alongside his colleagues, Michael Barrett and Michael Cooper.
“The minister Morneau has been frank and direct with the committee, and be transparent with Canadians. (…) Since the beginning of the pandemic, he has worked tirelessly with his colleagues in the cabinet to provide essential support to Canadians. The minister Morneau continues to make this work on which Canadians rely,” said the prime minister’s office.
The ministers Mélanie Joly, and Steven Guilbeault were approximately the same speech Thursday, on the sidelines of an announcement about the clean technologies in Montreal.
“Not only is explained, but he apologized,” said Ms. Joly.
“The minister Morneau acknowledged that he had done wrong and he has apologized for it. It has put in place the wage subsidy and the PCU – in this sense, it has been there to help millions of Canadians,” added Mr. Guilbeault at his side.
Mr. Poilievre has said that his party would use all the avenues possible. The opposition has already asked and obtained that the prime minister and his chief of staff Katie Telford testify before the committee on finance. The time of their court appearances will be determined.
Another conservative mp, Michael Cooper, filed a motion Wednesday to demand the resignation of Mr. Morneau to the committee on finance.
The ethics committee, which also examines STATES – the Bloc quebecois went there on Thursday, a similar proposal which was rejected.
The conservatives and new democrats have also asked the ethics commissioner to expand its investigation already underway about the links between the minister Morneau and STATES to include travel funded by the organization.
Mr. Poilievre has not gone as far as to claim that Mr. Trudeau is giving its place, as does the Bloc québécois for several days already.
“I don’t objecterais definitely not”, however, has responded to Mr. Poilievre.