Ethics failures

Damien Kurek Official Portrait / Portrait Officiel Ottawa, ONTARIO, Canada on 25 November, 2019. © HOC-CDC Credit: Mélanie Provencher, House of Commons Photo Services
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The Liberal Government is, yet again, embroiled in a corruption scandal.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is investigating Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau for ethics violations relating to the WE Charity debacle.

This week, myself and three other members of the Ethics Committee brought forward a motion to investigate the matter further.

I was in Ottawa on July 17 as a member of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics for an emergency meeting.

Unsurprisingly, the Liberals used procedural tactics to delay the release of information that is key to understanding the full scope of this scandal.

Although the Government used eloquent words to deflect blame, their intent was made clear when they clumsily tried to force closure in a way that was ruled out of order.

They wilfully have participated in a cover up. Although the vote was delayed until we can organize the next committee meeting, the Government members failed in their attempt to shut it down. We will be back to debate this in the coming days and weeks.

For background on this scandal, on June 26, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal cabinet approved the administering of $912-million dollars to WE Charity for the Canada Summer Student Grant.

It was later revealed that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have deep personal ties to the WE organization.

These ties cast serious doubt on the reason why the government would make a decision that in many ways, simply didn’t make sense.

Considering those personal connections, the Prime Minister and members of the Government should have allowed for an open tender or used the infrastructure that already exists with the Canada Summer Jobs Grant and the followed the process to recuse themselves in making decisions where there is a conflict, but like the scandals that preceded this one they failed the basic tests of accountability.

Those actions and Justin Trudeau’s admission of those mistakes cast suspicion on the integrity of our democratic institutions.

While Canada is dealing with a public health crisis and unprecedented economic turmoil, Justin Trudeau has shown that he is willing to use the COVID-19 pandemic for personal gain. Canadians deserve better.

The Liberals have, once again, demonstrated a stunning lack of ethics on this, the way they are governing Canada, how they represent Canada on the world stage, and their lack of regard for even the most rudimentary forms of accountability.

The reason why Parliament exists is so Canadians can hold their Government to account.

The Official Opposition will continue to demand the accountability you expect and hold the Liberals and Prime Minister Trudeau accountable.

Damien Kurek, MP
Battle River-Crowfoot Constituency

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