Trudeau facing ethics and criminal questions over $900 million We contract

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Although Morneau claim he had already paid $52,000 for his two 2017 trips to Kenya and Ecuador and only on the day of his committee interview realized he had received $41,000 in additional benefits. We are then by Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux to understand how busy the poor man has been in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is called that because it started in 2019, not 2017. As to the more than $90,000 cost of these vacations, all I have to say is some vacation; some luxury; some privilege. 

In 2018, Finance Minister Bill Morneau was already investigated by the Ethics Commissioner after he introduced a pension bill in the House of Commons while he still owned shares in his family's pension services company. 

I rarely agree with the Conservatives, but on their demand that Morneau resign I have to agree.  But this won't happen as it would only the even larger ethics violations of Trudeau over time. 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is facing calls to resign after telling MPs that he cut a cheque for over $41,000 to repay travel expenses incurred by the WE organization related to two 2017 trips his family took with the organization.

Morneau said he wrote the cheque today — prior to going before the House of Commons finance committee to answer questions about his government's decision to task WE with administering a $912-million student volunteering program.

Morneau said that after conducting a review of his family's finances in recent days, he found documentation confirming that he already had repaid $52,000 in expenses for hotels and flights related to the trips to Ecuador and Kenya to view the organization's humanitarian work — but failed to locate receipts related to the WE programming he and his family members participated in during the trips.

After reaching out to the WE organization to learn the total amount of expenses WE incurred, Morneau said, he had his assistant write a cheque for $41,366.

"I expected and always had intended to pay the full cost of these trips, and it was my responsibility to make sure that was done," Morneau told MPs on the committee. "Not doing so, even unknowingly, is not appropriate. I want to apologize for this error on my part." (Does anybody believe this?)


There is an article accompanying this cartoon, but the cartooon summarizes much of what the article says.


Good cartoon. Here's his testimony...

Minister Morneau Grilled Over WE Charity Controversy (and vid)

"Finance Minister Bill Morneau faces questions over his involvement in the now-cancelled $900 million sole-sourced contract awarded to the WE Charity Foundation..."


Justin Trudeau's Billion-Dollar Scandal is a Story of Power, Branding and Charity *MUST READ*

"...A page of WE's website advertising Marc Kielburger as a paid speaker touts his insights into 'purposeful and profitable business strategies.' The page, which has since been updated to remove that language, boasts that Marc can help teach strategies to 'inspire brand fanatics to stay loyal to you, your company, and your cause (and) add a halo effect to your product.'

In an internal pitch presentation, WE said its youth-oriented programs improve partners' brand reputation particularly by increasing consumer perception of partners' investment in their local community.' Internal polling of students and parents about its corporate-branded in-school programs bragged that '60 percent of (WE) teens spoke positively about the company with their parents.' The internal polling suggests that WE Schools and WE Day also pushed teens to complete a 'social action' - such as 'connected with an Allstate [WE 'corporate partner'] agent in my community,' 'bought a Surface tablet or other Microsoft product,' and 'used Skype' - yet most had no clear social component whatsoever.

WE's programs are present in some 18,000 schools throughout North America. 'Any time I wanted to sign a new company, we brought them to WE Day,' a former employee told Canadaland last year for a series of stories about WE'S Corporate partnerships and its work on schools across North America. At WE Days, students may watch short documentaries about their corporate sponsors. We also partnered with DOW Chemical to help middle and high school students 'identify solutions to the world's largest sustainability issues.' The curriculum prepaid by WE suggests teachers ask students questions like, 'How do DOW scientists approach problems..."

That members of the Trudeau cabinet would knowingly deliver our children and their education into the clutches of such corporatist, neoliberal hustlers for 'branding' and brainwashing is probably one of the worst aspects of this whole ghastly corrupt and scandalous betrayal!

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Jesse Brown of Canadaland is a hero. He has doggedly uncovered how stinky the whole WE World is. Honestly, it's followers/supporters have drank the cult koolaid on this one. Makes Bono and Sting look modest and earnest in their so-called activism.


Trudeau and Morneau Should Resign or Risk Snap Election: Opposition (and vid)

"Opposition parties are ratcheting up their calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau to resign, with the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois saying that the Liberals could be facing a fall election, if actions beyond their apologies over their roles in the WE Charity controversy aren't taken..."



laine lowe wrote:

Jesse Brown of Canadaland is a hero. He has doggedly uncovered how stinky the whole WE World is. Honestly, it's followers/supporters have drank the cult koolaid on this one. Makes Bono and Sting look modest and earnest in their so-called activism.

I agree totally.  I made a donation to Canadaland and encourage others to do so.


MPs Question WE Chair Michelle Douglas (and vid)

"Michelle Douglas, the former chair of WE Charity's board of directors, faces questions from MPs about the We organization and her reasons for resigning from her post."


Finance: MPs Question Craig and Marc Kielburger, Former WE Chairs (and vid)

"Canadian MPs question former WE chairs, during the ongoing WE Charity controversy."


Power & Politics (and vid)

"Margaret, Alexandre and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau were reimbursed $212k for expenses related to appearances at WE events. That's on top of the speaking fees they received..."


Power & Politics (and vid)

"They're creating a situation where you have access to meet the Trudeau family. That puts the Prime Minister and that puts this government in a serious conflict,' said NDP MP Charlie Angus."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Doesn't anyone on the Hill or in the Civil Service do due dilligence anymore? What a sh*tshow! It is beyond confounding that this situation developed - it seriously feels like a set-up for an extreme take down.

Did someone have a major axe to grind against WE or WE to ME? That whole operation sure got torpedoed. Never was a fan of WE days and what they actually accomblished seemed pretty miniscule to what money they were raking in through donations and sponsorships. Doller for doller, you could compare the accomplishments of tried and true organizations (including OXFAM, World Vision, MCC, MSF, etc) and sense a huge problem when it comes to their international work. And other than motivational speaking events, I'm not sure what they accomplished domestically.

I won't lose sleep over the end of WE. I just hope the corporate sponsors that they were so good a swaying open up their pockets to support far more respectable, transparent and effective non-profits out there.


One would have thought  the revelations of  systematic and intentional corporate branding and brainwashing of Canada's youth would also have been of more concern to more people. This to me, is far more alarming than the garden variety corruption and influence peddling that one expects of politicians. But when the topmost leadership openly promotes corporatist 'friendly fascist' agendas and corporate colonization of the minds of children, that WE obviously excelled at, they become truly odious and despicable. Do you really want DOW teaching environmentalism to your kids and this encouraged by the leaders of our country?

Please hear Jesse Brown of Canadaland on this and more @ 22:55

WE Charity Scandal: Canadaland's Jesse Brown Testifies (and vid)

"In a virtual meeting, MPs hear from Jesse Brown, publisher of Canadaland and Vivian Krause, on investigating the WE Charity...."


Sponsors, We Charity 'Mutually' Agree to Part Ways

"WE Charity says it has 'mutually agreed' to suspend its partnerships after a flood of companies announced they were dropping their support for the embattled organization whose founders faced parliamentary hearings on Tuesday. 'We regret that the disruptive political controversy and inquiry have impacted our shareholders,' WE Charity said in a statement that did not specify which partnerships were being suspended. WE's remarks came after several companies, including Royal Bank of Canada*, Loblaw Companies Ltd, Goodlife Fitness and KPMG said Tuesday they were ending their partnerships with the Charity. WestJet and DHL said they are still deciding what to do about WE..."


The Kielburger Family's Private Real Estate Empire And Its Recent Deal With the City of Toronto

"...Mayor John Tory, whose office says he was not involved in the lease, has a relationship with the WE co-founders. He was a witness at Craig Kielburger's 2016 wedding, and called Marc 'a friend' in a 2014 tweet, a few weeks before he was elected mayor. Tory has also appeared at WE days and on stage when WE opened its Global Learning Centre, a standout building in Toronto's Corktown neighbourhood that WE opened in 2017.

WE says the brothers and the mayor 'have a relationship built on their mutual commitment to public service, but there is no social or otherwise personal relationship.' However, in 2008 Tory took a trip to Kenya with his extended family, and spent several days with Marc and Craig there. Peat says Tory 'fully paid the costs' for the trip. At the time he was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. He was accompanied in Kenya by his sister, Jennifer Tory. A major supporter of WE, she called the experience in Kenya her favourite vacation in a 2012 video for RBC*, where she is the bank's chief administrative officer..."

WE increasingly looks like a  typical elite corporate ruling-class clusterfuck where the left hand washes the right and both wash the face. That it was also pimping and pumping kids full of corporate propaganda while exploiting their enthusiasm for public service to 'sell' WE's corporate partners is particularly repellent. No surprise to find Trudeau, Morneau and a silent Liberano cabinet preparing to grease WE's wheels  with millions for student grants either. Meanwhile those most affected, the students awaiting the sub-minimum funds, are left to twist in the wind.


Several empl0yees say that felt pressure from the We charity to attend a Bill Morneau event. Morneau and his family donated $100,000 to Morneau's election. 

Several former employees of WE Charity have told CBC News they felt pressured to attend the event and claimed they were not told by their supervisors that the party would be hosted by the federal finance minister and MP for Toronto Centre.

"None of us wanted to go," said a former employee, whom CBC News has agreed to refer to as Robin.

Robin is one of three former WE Charity employees who allege co-founder Marc Kielburger's chief of staff, Jackie Pilon, repeatedly asked them to attend the event on Dec. 13, 2018, even after they told her they'd rather not.

Robin claims Pilon asked them to go after work to "fill the room" and that Pilon described the celebration as though it were a "WE event or a Craig Kielburger event," referring to Kielburger's brother and WE co-founder Craig Kielburger.

"[She] kind of kept dancing around any details. … It was framed as though this was an event centred around Craig, and Bill Morneau would just happen to be there." ...

CBC agreed not to identify Robin and other former WE employees who participated in this story, because they had all signed non-disclosure agreements with WE that prevent them from speaking out.

However, the former employees say they want Canadians to know more about the international development and youth empowerment charity that attracts rich and powerful supporters such as Morneau and his family, who have donated a total of $100,000.


The Ethics Commissioner has expanded his investigation into Bill Morneau whille the Cons are asking him to also expand his investigation into Trudeau. 

The Opposition Conservatives called on the federal ethics watchdog today to widen his investigation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding his family's ties to WE Charity, as his finance minister faces an expanded examination of his own.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is already investigating Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau for possible violations of the Conflict of Interest Act for not recusing themselves during cabinet discussions about the WE deal. ...

Morneau's problems grew bigger Wednesday over his repayment of $41,000 in WE-sponsored travel expenses for family trips three years ago. Dion told the NDP he would look into the spending.

Regulations prohibit ministers or their family members from accepting free travel, lest it be seen as buying influence over government policy.

In a letter to NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus, the commissioner wrote he will look into whether Morneau ran afoul of that rule and a separate one for "failing to disclose these gifts," which could lead to a fine, albeit not a large one.

For Trudeau, the issues stem from speaking fees and related expenses the WE organization paid to his mother, brother and wife amounting to over $500,000, based on testimony the charity's co-founders provided to the House of Commons finance committee Tuesday.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he wanted Trudeau to explain why the Liberals opted to have the charity run a service program when there were other, potentially easier avenues to help financially strapped students.

He cited increasing student grants or putting more money into the Canada Summer Jobs program as examples.

"This was never about helping students," Singh said Wednesday in Burnaby, B.C. "This was about helping close friends of the Liberal government and of Prime Minister Trudeau, and that is deeply troubling."



Watch Morneau eventually forced to fall on his sword to save Trudeau and the other cabinet co-conspirators like Freeland, who were charged with the duty of disallowance but went along.


WE Charity Spent Hundreds of Thousands on US Political Consultants

"WE Charity spent US $130,000 on a Republican strategy firm that commissioned a series of articles to smear me and my work for CANADALAND."


WE Charity Controversy Explained (and vid)

PnP: Q&A with Vassy Kapelos on 'the Macdonalds of Charities'

Misfit Misfit's picture

I'm sorry, but I have a big problem with the idea of the Trudeau's getting paid giant sums of money to publicly speak at various engagements. There are people who travel and speak for various causes and they have built up a lifetime of credentials through hard work to establish a reputation that is worthy of such public speaking.

Who the hell are the Trudeau's? Justin is now the Prime Minister of Canada. However he was giving paid public speeches before he even entered politics. He even spent more time on the paid speaking circuit than he ever did in the House of Commons when he first got elected as a back bench MP. He wrote a memoir with editorial help before his political career even began. So this isn't the first time that the Trudeau's have come to national attention with their insatiable urge to accept charity money to speak.

Margaret Trudeau was married to Pierre Trudeau, and she is the mother of Justin Trudeau. Her marriage to a former national leader and the mother to our current leader is her only claim to fame yet she gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by one charity alone to give public speeches that she may not even have written herself.  

She wrote a book on her life struggles with mental illness. She didn't write that herself either, but she wrote the book to generate revenue because obviously she needed the money. Then she uses the fact that she has a book under her belt to go on paid public speaking tours that are sponsored by "charities". 

People donate their time and money to charities under the assumption that their money is being used for good causes.  With this one charity alone hundreds of thousands of dollars of people's charity donations went into the pocket of Margaret Trudeau, and not to build schools, dig wells, nor to establish essential food and housing for people in need. That is what people have in mind when they donate their money to these charities. Instead, they find out that large sums of their contributions are keeping Margaret Trudeau fed and clothed instead.

The WE charity has to account for the audacity of this. But what is even more troubling is that the Trudeau family, including Justin himself, seem to have no qualms with receiving this money nor on this grand a scale. They are taking in more money from this one charity alone than some people have to live on here in Canada for one decade.

We have a right to know which charities are giving money to politicians and to their family members through speaking engagements and how much they are getting. It would give us an idea of how much money the Trudeau family actually does receive and from which organizations. The charities are misappropriating the money that people donate for needy and worthwhile causes. This would determine whether I give money to that charity or not.

And the government did not need to have a charity administer the program. That is why we have a civil service, to administer government programs.

We need to think about banning some of these charities. The government is the most efficient administration for allocating money and services to foreign countries. Too much money is wasted on a duplication of administrative costs by running all of these international charities. And is it just this charity or how many of them waste large sums of money schmoozing with politicians and corporate executives, and buying up expensive real estate instead of administering the donations to their proper causes.We need laws in place to crack down on our national charities and force them to be more accountable with their donor's money especially when that money is going to politicians and to the family members of high profile political figures.


Not only Trudeau and Morneau being investivgated by the ethics commissioner but the Commissioner of Lobbying has been asked to investigate whether the We charity, which has not registered as a lobbyist, has violated the Lobbying Act in this case. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Further to your point that the civil service was best suited to running this program Misfit, the Trudeau government acutally set up a specific arm to carry out student volunteerism support programs. When asked supposedly by Trudeau in his flaccid attempt at demanding due dilligence, he was told that it would take to long to acquire/allocate the human resources to pull it off in a timely fashion. Well if someone was paying attention, they could have freaking hired all the WE staff that had been laid off in March and they would have had more than enough experienced workers to deliver the program in house.

Somewhere, somehow, someone is lying or there are a hell of a lot of morons making decisions in the civil service.


WE Charity Scandal: PM's Chief of Staff Testifies on WE Charity Agreement (and vid)

Katie Telford testifies


WE Charity Scandal: PM Trudeau Appears Before House Finance Committee (and vid)

Hurtin Albertan

If I've learned anything in my time spent in the civil service, there are no shortage of morons.  

I think they fell into the classic trap for the federal Liberals, which seems to me is something like "We're handing out lots of money for other stuff, why not hand some out to some nice people we know"??


Sounds about right...


In US, WE Charity Spent Money on Kielburger 'Friend', Board Member's Firm...

"In the US, WE Charity has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to a 'trusted friend' of the Kielburgers, among other notable expenses..."


"I asked Justin Trudeau about asking University students with massive debts to work for less than minimum wage. He said I was attacking the spirit of volunteerism. Students don't have $41k to write a check when they're in trouble. He doesn't get it." WATCH



'How Much Mr Prime Minister?'


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

When it cost's a minimum of $50 million if not more to deliver $500+ million of grants for volunteerism, wouldn't it had been far easier to just deliver every post-secondary student in need with a straight up grant towards tuition - $1,000 to $5,000 based on a means test. In fact, Canada Student Loans is already set up for delivering grants. There would have been very little cost to delivering such a grant program.

I'm so sick of the "too cool for school" attitude that often dictates new programs. Not the right time or place for it - if ever. And Hurtin, I hear you. During my stint with the feds, I was appalled at what got funding as milennial projects in the arts - stuff that the Canada Council wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. There are opportunistic operators out there who are the exciting projects and programs equivalents of used car salesmen. Heaven forbid if they've got the ear of a Minister in their pocket.


Justin Trudeau Asked For 'Due Diligence' on WE Plan To Fight Perception of His Family Ties...

"It's new quite clear that when PMJT called for 'due diligence' on WE Charity he did NOT mean checking: Their financials - their record of conduct with youth volunteers and employees - their governance. What he was concerned about was how it would look for him."


"The Globe editorial board nails it: 'If you dimmed the screen and only listened to the audio, Justin Trudeau sounded like one of the Kielburgers..."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Jacobin has a pretty good writeup on this story. The conclusion:

Luke Savage wrote:

By all appearances, the WE scandal speaks to something deeper about the model Canada’s ruling faction has embraced as the guiding principle of its political project, wherein corporatism, resource extraction, and patronage go hand in hand with progress and an ersatz version of social justice is the secret sauce that lubricates it all. Spend billions bailing out big oil while posturing as a global leader on climate change. Say nice things about refugees while collaborating with American border agencies. Give speeches about inequality while maintaining tax advantages for the exorbitantly rich. Evangelize about reconciliation while heavily-armed police are deployed to break indigenous blockades.

In Canada, neoliberalism comes with a mawkish smile, a famous face, and a symbolic nod toward inclusion — all right next to the logo of your favorite bank or oil company.

Misfit Misfit's picture

And then wonder why they can't get a seat on the UN Security Council.


Our Liberal Party posters seemed to have disappered in the month of July. I wonder why.


Canadaland #336: Let No Good Deed (podcast)

"Last week's House Finance Committee hearings into the WE Charity scandal yielded few new insights into why the government awarded it a massive sole-source contract or how the organization itself operates. Thankfully, the press has continued to turn up information that MPs have not..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I still can't believe that multiple federal departments were all enamored enough with WE "charities" to never do a proper vetting in the last few years. What went on in those departmental meetings: "Oh yes, great choice! The PM loves that organization."


laine lowe wrote:

I still can't believe that multiple federal departments were all enamored enough with WE "charities" to never do a proper vetting in the last few years. What went on in those departmental meetings: "Oh yes, great choice! The PM loves that organization."

Trudeau is just a minor part of the Ottawa insiders. His name and looks made him the front man for our new millennium cronyism. There is no conspiracy they just pick up the phone and call the Deputy Minister that they went to school with or belong to the same golf club as and have a productive chat. Those networks are not partisan if you are Liberal/Tory they are class based.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

That seems about right, Krop. Dare I say some of the "champagne Socialists" also belong to the same club.


laine lowe wrote:

That seems about right, Krop. Dare I say some of the "champagne Socialists" also belong to the same club.

This is what happens when the NDP manages to win.

"On Friday, while I was enjoying a break from the sunny Prairie weather in cold and rainy Halifax, Hal Danchilla’s Canadian Strategy Group sent out a press release saying it had eased its paucity of NDP types by persuading Ken Georgetti, the former president of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Moe Sihota, a former B.C. NDP cabinet minister and party president, to swell its ranks as “strategic counsel.”

To those unfamiliar with the argot of lobbying, strategic counsel are lobbyists, or slightly less politely, schmoozers with an agenda. No matter what anyone tells you, they are paid – and often paid very well – for their connections."


Sihota & Georgetti - NDP mafiosi

NDP = No Difference Party


Trudeau Government Paying $84 M To Firm Employing Katie Telford's Husband to Manage Rent Assistance Aid Program

"The Trudeau government is paying up to $84 million to a company that employs Chief of Staff Katie Telford's husband as a senior executive to administer its COVID-19 emergency commercial-rent assistance program for small businesses. Due to the ties between Telford and her husband Robert Silver, the PMO assures that their chief of staff has  recused herself from any decisions that may involve MCAP, Silver's employer...According to LinkedIn this is his first job in the private sector since leaving Crestview - the government relations firm he helped create following the 2015 election. The contract between Silver's firm and the government comes to light as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is embroiled in another conflict of interest controversy, this time regarding his and Finance Minister Bill Morneau's ties to the WE corporation..."


Charity Intelligence, which analyzes Canadian charities to help donors be informed and give intelligently, sent a damning review of the We charity to the parlimentary finance committee, parts of which I quoted below. 

In September 2019, Ci analyzed WE Charity’s demonstrated impact – the measurable returns on its work – and found WE Charity’s impact to be Fair. Fair is below average. ...

Our major limitation as analysts is that we are only as effective as the data is reliable. We are analysts, not auditors. Ci’s August 2019 report on WE Charity flagged this material information:

  • a breach of financial covenants on its $13.7 M in bank debt that its bank has waived for the second year in a row. 
  • the related party transactions with 8% of donations to WE Charity going to ME to WE, the private business controlled by Marc and Craig Kielburger, to purchase goods and services.

In August 2019 an outside party shared with us public records about WE Charity’s real estate transactions. These transactions were not disclosed as related party transactions in WE Charity’s audited financial statements.

Given this lack of disclosure, we reviewed WE Charity’s auditor, which has a solid reputation for tax and business. However, the auditor’s website only advertised one charity client, WE Charity. In our database, no other charity used this auditor.

This contrasts with WE Charity hiring the most prestigious law firms and its stated commitment to the highest financial transparency. We questioned why WE Charity has not hired leading international auditors to prepare their financial statements, despite being one of Canada’s largest charities with global operations. ...

On July 17, 2020, Charity Intelligence issued its strongest alert, a donor advisory.

With more news coming to our notice, and after looking at other WE entities, we released our 10 questions. Primarily:

  • Was the Cabinet aware that the CSSG was contracted through WE Charity Foundation, a new separate foundation with no employees or assets, rather than WE Charity? 
  • Why are the Kielburgers not directors of any of the WE charities, but take the title “co-founders” which removes fiduciary responsibility and shields them from various disclosure requirements?
  • Why has neither WE Charity Foundation in Canada or ME to WE Foundation (US) disclosed in their regulatory filings the non-arms-length relationships of their three directors? 
  • Why does WE need such a complex organizational structure with multiple single-purpose entities to do its work? This is highly unusual for charities, even Canada’s largest international aid charities.

WE Charity is an outlier – normal metrics for assessing charities do not adequately reflect its suitability for donors. It is not similar to any of the vast majority of other Canadian charities.

We have flagged these issues because the more donors understand about the entirety of the WE network, the better informed they will be, and the better able to give intelligently.


The Conservatives now want the finance committee and the financial watchdog to investigate the Liberal government's commercial rent relief program which was not be delivered by the public service but instead handed off to a firm where Katie Telford's husband, Rob Silver, worked as a VP. The National Post first reported Friday that the Trudeau government was paying up to $84 million to the company where Telford's husband works in order to deliver the rent relief program. It's another example of a private sector company doing a poor job as there has been a low uptake for the program. Ironic that the Cons are asking why the civil service couldn't be doing this work.

The government is giving the same excuse as used with the We charity - the relevant department didn't have the capacity to do the work. It's starting to sound like the excuse to farm out everything. This could get very ugly-looking for the Liberals. 

I think it's time to investigate all aspects of the Liberal Covid-19 set of programs to see if other Liberal party friends, relatives and donors have benefited from the hundreds of billions shovelled out the door quickly by the Trudeau Liberals. 

The federal Conservatives are calling for an investigation into the Liberal government's commercial rent relief program to find out why it could not be delivered by the public service — and how it came to be contracted out to a company with ties to a top PMO staffer. 

"What we want to find out is why this multi-billion-dollar program was hived off from the public service, given to a Crown corporation that couldn't run it and therefore subcontracted to a company that has, as its senior VP, the spouse of the prime minister's Chief of Staff," said Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre during a news conference Sunday. 

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program is Ottawa's rent subsidy program for small businesses that have lost 70 per cent or more of their revenue due to the pandemic. Eligible businesses pay 25 per cent of their rent, while provinces, territories, the federal government and landlords cover the remaining costs. 

The program — which was extended into August late last month — has been criticized for its low uptake, restrictive eligibility criteria and for not being extended until the end of the year. 

According to an Aug. 5 survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, 55 per cent of members surveyed said improving access to the program should be a priority for the federal government. ...

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal Crown corporation, subcontracted the delivery of the program to Canadian mortgage financing company MCAP on May 15. A senior director at that company is Robert Silver, who is married to Trudeau's Chief of Staff Katie Telford.  

"Conservatives today are calling for the finance committee to examine why this program was directed through an unrelated Crown corporation — and ultimately to this company — and two, we are asking the lobbying commissioner to ascertain if either the company...or Mr. Silver should have registered their lobbying activities and whether they did so," Poilievre said.

The finance critic has argued that the Canada Revenue Agency would be better positioned to deliver the program given that it is already responsible for administering the federal government's emergency wage subsidy. 

In a statement to CBC News, CMHC said it contracted out the rent relief program because it "did not have the internal capacity" to deliver it.


'Complexity if the Refuge of a Scoundrel' (and vid)

"This weekend we learned that more unnecessary 'complexity' benefitted a firm with links through its executives to the Prime Minister's office...They created a rental assistance program. It was outsourced. And who got the subcontract...?"

The Liberanos gang is clearly back doing what they do best - porkbarreling their friends, while Canadian tenants and their families lose sleep at night wondering how they're going to pay the rent. Privileged assholes involved like Trudeau, Morneau and Katy Telford should step down pending the results of official inquiries into possible wrongdoing.