Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics – July 17, 2020:
The committee convenes to consider a motion from Conservative members to hold a study on the WE Charity contract deal and to review the safeguards that are in place to prevent conflicts of interest in government procurement. The Commons finance committee recently began its study on the WE Charity controversy, while the government operations and estimates committee will also undertake its own investigation.
Questions have surrounded the federal government’s decision to award a now-cancelled contract to WE Charity to administer a $900-million federal grants program for student volunteers. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have both apologized for not recusing themselves from cabinet discussions concerning the contract despite the organization’s ties to their families. The prime minister and the finance minister are also facing probes by the federal ethics commissioner for potential violations of the Conflict of Interest Act.