Federal Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to resign over his family’s involvement with the WE Charity – the third party chosen to help match students to non-profits and charities to provide them with summer work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scheer’s comments come after it was revealed earlier this month that Trudeau’s mother, brother, and wife all reportedly did work for WE Charity and received compensation for it.
At a press conference earlier this month, Trudeau said that while he was aware his mother had worked for years with WE, he did not know the details of how much she was getting paid, and that he “deeply regrets” bringing his mother in the situation that is “deeply unfair to her.”
He also apologized for the situation, admitting that he “made a mistake” on the controversial partnership with the student grant program.
“I made a mistake. I am sincerely sorry for not having removed myself from the discussions,” he said. “Because of my participation with WE Charity, I should have recused myself.”
During a press conference on Friday, Scheer said the “entire scandal reeks of corruption at the highest levels of government” and called for Trudeau to step down.
Trudeau, he said, “handed almost a billion dollars to a charity that has paid multiple members of his family almost $300,000.”
And since Trudeau became Prime Minister, “we know that the Trudeaus have appeared at, participated in, and financially benefitted from dozens of WE events,” Scheer added.
“In the past, just being under investigation was enough for members of Parliament to step aside,” Scheer said.
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During the press conference, Scheer was asked if the middle of a crisis – such as the COVID-19 pandemic – is an appropriate time to oust the country’s leader.
In response, Scheer said the WE controversy is “a very serious situation and is the reason why” Trudeau should step down and resign.
Trudeau stepping down would also allow “for a government that is able to manage such a crisis, and the prime minister has chosen to use this pandemic for the purpose of violating rules and laws and to give that kind of contract to his friends,” he added.
Canada, he said, needs a prime minister “who will comply with the rules, and not try to take advantage of such a situation.”