Bill Morneau has resigned from his position as Canada’s Finance Minister.
Morneau made the announcement this afternoon during a press conference on Parliament Hill.
“I met with the Prime Minister today to inform him that I did not intend to run again in the next federal election,” he said. “It’s never been my plan to run for more than two federal election cycles. As we move to the next phase in our fight against the pandemic and pave the road towards economic recovery, we must recognize that this process will take many years.”
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“It’s the right time for a new finance minister to deliver on that plan for the long and challenging road ahead,” Morneau continued. “That’s why I will be stepping down as finance minister and member of parliament for Toronto Centre.”
Morneau said he still intends to serve, adding that he has put his name forward to become the next secretary-general for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
“The prime minister has given me his full support in this quest. I will be spending the next few weeks preparing in this bid,” he added.
The announcement comes amid his involvement in the WE Charity’s controversial volunteer contract with Trudeau’s government.
The WE Charity was the third party chosen to help match students to non-profits and charities to provide them with summer work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was revealed that Morneau had forgotten to pay over $41,000 of expense related to a trip taken with the WE Charity, prompting the Conservatives to call for both his resignation and Trudeau’s.
“I wish in hindsight that we had done things differently with the WE Charity. As I’ve said I think it would have been more appropriate for me to recuse myself from that decision,” said Morneau today.
The prime minister apologized for his family’s involvement after it was revealed his mother, brother, and wife all did work for WE Charity and received compensation for it.
Trudeau said that he was aware his mother had worked for years with WE but did not know the details of how much she was getting paid and last month he said he “deeply regrets” bringing his mother in the situation that is “deeply unfair to her.”
“I made a mistake. I am sincerely sorry for not having removed myself from the discussions,” stated Trudeau. “Because of my participation with WE Charity, I should have recused myself.”