A report has cleared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in connection with a conflict of interest case between the Liberal Party and the WE charity organization.
Released by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, the report examined Trudeau’s participation in the decisions to award funding to the WE organization’s Social Entrepreneurship program, and select WE as the administrator of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) in the spring of 2020.
Trudeau, his spouse, his mother, and his brother have been involved in WE’s activities for several years.
Dion’s office noted that it reviewed over 40,000 pages of documents from then finance minister Bill Morneau, Trudeau, and 13 witnesses, and that in coming to his conclusion, Dion analyzed various parts of the Conflict of Interest Act.
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The report noted that Dion considered interactions between Trudeau and WE, and although the connection between Trudeau’s relatives and WE “created the appearance of a conflict of interest, “the appearance of conflict is insufficient” to cause a contravention of the Act.
“The conflict must be real,” said Dion. “During the examination, I determined there was no friendship between Mr. Trudeau and the Kielburgers, nor was Mr. Trudeau involved in any discussions with them leading to the decisions.”
The WE charity shut down its operations in Canada last September amid the allegations.