Shomporko Desk:-Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ought to resign over his role in the controversy involving the WE organization.
Scheer has recently called for Finance Minister Bill Morneau to be terminated for trips he and members of his family took in 2017, part of which were paid for by WE Charity.
“Before, simply being under scrutiny was sufficient for members of Parliament to step aside, put their nation in front of their own sense of self, in front of their own political careers, step aside and permit the work that government must continue to do to proceed without that cloud of suspicion,” Scheer told reporters on Friday.
“None of that has happened under Justin Trudeau so that’s why this conversation is turning to stricter penalties.”
In what appears to be an attempt to drive a wedge between Trudeau and members of his own caucus, Scheer now says Liberal MPs who do not want to be seen as complicit in this controversy should demand that their leader quit.
“Liberal MPs have a choice to make: are they prepared to sacrifice their personal integrity to protect their scandal-plagued leader and to cover up corruption or are they willing to take a stand and demand that Trudeau step aside?” he said.
“If the Liberals refuse to act, if they sit on their hands and say nothing, then they are implicitly approving of this corrupt behaviour and they will be just as guilty as Justin Trudeau is.”
When asked if he would be willing to force an election over the issue in the minority Parliament, Scheer said such an opportunity will not come until the House of Commons resumes full business in September, which he says is why Trudeau and Morneau should leave now of their own accord.
He also says a decision about seeking to defeat the Liberal government on a confidence motion should be made by the next leader of the party after the results of the Conservative leadership contest are announced in late August.
On Wednesday, Morneau told a Commons committee he had just repaid WE Charity more than $41,000 for expenses the group covered for trips his family took to Kenya and Ecuador in 2017 to see some of its humanitarian work. He said he had always planned to personally cover those amounts.
WE said the Morneau family trips were meant to be complementary, part of a practice of showing donors WE’s work to encourage them to give more.
Both Morneau and Trudeau are facing an ethics investigation for not recusing themselves during discussions about awarding WE a deal to run the government’s $912-million program that would pay students grants of up to $5,000 based on the hours they volunteer.
Trudeau and Morneau have apologized for not declaring possible conflicts because of their familial ties to the organization — Trudeau because of speaking fees paid to his brother, mother and wife, and Morneau because of one of his daughters is nearing the end of a one-year contract in an administrative role.
Photo credit: The Canadian Press
News source: The Canadian Press