Politician accuses Trudeau of redacting ‘damning information’ in released docs on WE Charity scandal
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OTTAWA, Ontario, August 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative member of Parliament (M.P.) Pierre Poilievre directly accused Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau of a “cover-up” after it was discovered that many documents related to the WE Charity Scandal were released in a heavily redacted form.
“The Prime Minister goes to the Governor General’s office and says, GG, I’m about to release some very damning information, but I’ve covered it in black ink and if you’ll just shut down parliament for me today then none of the opposition politicians can force me to remove that ink and reveal the truth,” said Poilievre at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Ladies and gentlemen this is a coverup. Conservatives will not relent; we will continue to fight to get to the truth."
Just before he accused Trudeau of a cover-up, Poilievre, who sits on the finance committee investigating the WE Charity scandal, blasted the fact that many of the recently made public WE Charity documents were released in a heavily redacted form.
“This page, blacked out, this page blacked out, this page blacked out,” said Poilievre at the press conference, tossing the visibly redacted pages to the floor in disgust.
“Why don’t we ask what’s in those pages at a parliamentary committee? Well, I’ll tell you why. Justin Trudeau shut down those parliamentary committees. When did he do it? The same day these documents became public. What a coincidence.”
On Monday, Canada’s embattled finance minister Bill Morneau resigned amid his ongoing involvement with the WE Charity scandal and alleged disagreements with his former boss, Trudeau.
Trudeau picked Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to take over as finance minister.
On Tuesday afternoon, Trudeau asked the Canadian governor-general, Julie Payette, to prorogue Parliament until the fall, meaning that all committee hearings on the WE Charity scandal have been halted.
Both Trudeau and former finance minister Morneau are under investigation by the ethics commissioner and have issued apologies for not recusing themselves from their cabinet discussions to approve the now canceled contract with the WE Charity.
The contract would have seen WE get up to $43.5 million to administer the Canada Student Service Grants program (CSSG).
Morneau recently told the finance committee that he wrote a check for $41,366 as reimbursement for WE Charity travel expenses he had incurred for two family trips with the organization in 2017.
At his Wednesday press conference, Poilievre alleged that the documents show that the “entire” WE Charity program was led not by public servants, but rather by ministers and policy advisers.
“The documents make it clear that the government sent to the members of the finance committee that it was the prime minister’s office and other ministers offices that led to the decision to grant the contract to the WE Charity. The same organization that paid $500,000 to the Trudeau family,” said Poilievre in French as translated to English at the press conference.
Poilievre gave an example that he believes “shows the extent” of political interference involved, reading an email from Michelle Kovacevic, an assistant deputy minister at finance to the Privy Council Office (PCO).
In the email, which was sent in April, Kovacevic said Trudeau was “weighing in” on a version of the Canada CSSG and went on to call the entire program “a bit of a s--- show and the way it is positioned right now is not exactly how we will go forward.”
Poilievre said the email shows that Trudeau was “weighing in” on the situation in April, which directly contradicts the P.M.’s claim in a finance committee hearing that he first got word of it in early May.
“If he just learned of it on May 8, why is it that his office was quote-unquote ‘weighing in’ on the issue 17 days earlier?” said Poilievre.
In a rare move for a Canadian prime minister, Trudeau appeared as a witness at the July 30 meeting to testify before the finance committee investigating the WE Charity scandal to speak to his government’s relationship with WE Charity.
It was at this meeting where Trudeau said he first became aware of the public service’s proposed deal only on May 8.
Poilievre repeatedly asked Trudeau in the July 30 meeting to come clean with the exact dollar amount his family has received from WE Charity appearances.
On Tuesday, Poilievre called for the immediate release of 5,000 pages of WE scandal documents before Trudeau closed Parliament on Tuesday.
“Finance Committee members expect 5000 pages of WE scandal documents by tomorrow.... unless the PM prorogues today and seals the documents in an unprecedented cover-up,” wrote Poilievre on Twitter.
Poilievre also released a letter Tuesday showing three opposition parties jointly demanding the immediate release of the 5,000 WE scandal documents.
Later in the afternoon that day, Poilievre confirmed that the Finance Committee clerk will “honor” the opposition demands to release the documents.
“UPDATE: Trudeau checked, as Finance Committee Clerk tells me he will honour opposition demand to release some WE scandal docs before PM can lock them down under prorogation. We will fight any unjustified redactions,” wrote Poilievre on Twitter.
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) posted thousands of documents related to the WE Charity scandal on the site wedocuments.ca.
“Justin Trudeau shut down Parliament and the investigations into his WE Scandal. We need your help to look through these documents. Send us what you find at [email protected] or #WEDocs and share it with the world,” says the website which is fully authorized by the CPC.
Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) told LifeSiteNews that there could be a “silver lining” in Trudeau proroguing parliament: “evil bills will be stopped in their tracks if things go as in the past.”
The WE Charity scandal became public knowledge after a Rebel News exclusive report exposed that WE Charity founders Craig and Marc Kielburger had donated to Trudeau’s political campaign and the Liberal Party. This quickly prompted the Canadian federal government to end its agreement with WE Charities to administer a $900-million student summer volunteer grants program. Trudeau announced that civil servants would administer the program instead.