Ottawa, Jul 13 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Opposition Conservatives under the leadership of Andrew Scheer are demanding that Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testify before the House of Commons finance committee as it prepares to study how much the government spent in awarding a now-cancelled contract to the WE Charity, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
Canada's Liberal government under the leadership of Trudeau has been on fire for its decision to award a $19.5 million sole-sourced contract to WE Charity, with family ties with Trudeau and his family.
The partnership between the Liberal government and WE, that would have seen the organization administer more than $900 million for student work this summer under the Canada student service grant (CSSG), had been terminated nearly 2 weeks ago.
During his Press conference on July 12, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre argued that while a program for job summer students had been running in Canada for the past 20 years, what led Trudeau to "outsource the pre-existing program to a single organization without competition."
Pierre Poilievre. Image credit: Twitter handle.
Justin was not able to rescue himself because "he was the originator of the site, he created it in the first place."
"He claims Public Service told him there was no other program. Of course that is not only untrue, it is impossible...He needs to explain."
He needs to answer the questions if it was WE Charity suggested to Trudeau to get into partnership, or the idea was his own, or his family members, who were paid over three hundred thousand dollars by WE Charity, had suggested this program.
"I will be adding Justin Trudeau's name to the list of witnesses. I will be calling on him to appear and testify under oath after being sworn in," said Poilievre.
"Normally, prime ministers don't appear before parliamentary committees, but these are not normal times," Poilievre said June 12 in a Press conference.
Poilievre said he would also be adding Finance Minister Bill Morneau to the witness list, given that both he and Trudeau have ties to the WE organization and did not recuse themselves from cabinet discussions about the contract.
Poilievre said if Trudeau is not willing or unable to testify, a motion would be presented by his party which would require the support of other opposition parties.
Although Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh declined to answer whether it would back such a motion, but was reported to tell CBC News that the party believes in "getting to the bottom of this, and the more answers we get (including from Trudeau and Morneau), the quicker we can get those answers for the Canadian public."