Editorial: Shameless Liberals obstruct WE probes

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, are flanked by We Day co-founders, Craig Kielburger, left, and his brother Marc, right, in front of a crowd of 16,000 people during the We Day event at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa Tuesday Nov. 10, 2015.

Darren Brown / Ottawa Citizen

Apparently Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t want to disclose the total amount of money the Trudeau family was paid in speaking fees and expenses for appearing at WE Charity and other events.

After proroguing Parliament in August and shutting down multiple committee investigations of the scandal, Trudeau had the gall on Tuesday to attack the Conservatives and NDP for resuming these inquiries, saying he’s too busy with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau’s tortured logic is that (a) he’s only capable of focusing on one thing at a time and (b) he gets to choose which one.

In the real world, this is just more Liberal obstructionism on the WE scandal and Trudeau’s role in it.

Liberal MPs on the ethics committee are currently blocking the passage of a Conservative motion requesting records from the Trudeau family’s booking agency, Speakers’ Spotlight.

The motion calls for the release of all speaking fees and expenses paid to Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau and Alexandre Trudeau going back to October 2008.

Opposition MPs want to check the financial records against WE and government statements that the Trudeau family received over $560,000 in speaking fees and expenses from 2016 to 2020 alone. (The PM says he wasn’t paid for WE appearances.)

This is part of ongoing parliamentary investigations into whether Trudeau was in a conflict of interest by participating in and approving his cabinet’s decision to award a now-cancelled, $500-million, untendered contract to the WE organization, including a $20 million administration fee.

This to run a student volunteer program.

In a similar obstructionist move by the Liberals last week, a motion by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre to restart the finance committee’s investigation of the WE controversy was ruled out of order by committee chair, Liberal MP Wayne Easter, who then suspended the meeting.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is also investigating Trudeau’s role in the affair.

Trudeau has been convicted of breaking the Conflict of Interest Act twice — in the Aga Khan and SNC-Lavalin scandals.

That alone validates the importance of continuing the parliamentary inquiries into Trudeau’s conduct in the WE scandal, as well as calls by the Conservatives and NDP to create a new, anti-corruption committee, to investigate Trudeau’s role in the WE fiasco.

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