Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics – July 29, 2020:
As the committee launches its own investigation into the WE Charity scandal, MPs debate a motion to expand the scope of the study to all Cabinet ministers. The opposition motion will require all members of Cabinet to disclose whether they or their families have connections to the WE organization, as well as disclose if they had previous knowledge of WE’s ties with the prime minister and finance minister.
Questions have surrounded the federal government’s decision to award a now-cancelled contract to the WE Charity Foundation 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.