Trudeau to face sixth ethics investigation as prime minister over WE Charity debacle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will now be facing a sixth investigation by Canada’s ethics commissioner over the federal government’s decision to award a $900 million sole-source contract to a charity with ties to the Trudeau family.

Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau both have extensive ties to WE Charity. Grégoire Trudeau is a “WE ambassador and ally” and hosts a podcast with the organization, and the family has hosted and attended many WE events. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s daughter Clare Morneau is also tied to the organization. 

Trudeau called WE Charity the “best and only” organization able to administer the Canada Student Service Grant program.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion confirmed to the Conservatives and the NDP on Friday that he is opening an investigation into the deal.

“In your letter, you allege that, given the existence of Mr. Trudeau’s close family ties with WE Charity and the outsourcing of this project to the charity over the federal public service or another volunteer organization, Mr. Trudeau afforded preferential treatment to WE Charity in contravention … of the Conflict of Interest Act,” wrote Dion in a letter today to NDP MP Charlie Angus.

“I have considered your request and am of the view that it satisfies the requirements set out in … the Act. I am therefore commencing an examination.”