Blaine Calkins
Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe

202-07-13 (July)

Trudeau's $900,000,000 Scandal

Over the past week the details of Justin Trudeau’s latest ethical scandal have begun to emerge and the facts that we know so far, while shocking, are sadly not surprising. Trudeau attempted to provide a $900,000,000 sole-source contract to a charitable organization run by personal friends and donors. The same organization that is deeply connected to the Trudeau family and the Liberal Party. Not only did the Prime Minister not recuse himself from the decision to issue this contract, we have also found out that this organization has previously paid speaking fees to his family members worth almost $300,000.Canada’s Conservatives are demanding the answers that Canadians deserve. We have asked the Ethics Commissioner, the Auditor General and the Procurement Ombudsman to investigate Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau (who also has a family connection to this charity) for their involvement in awarding the contract. This situation is so serious, that we have called for a criminal investigation into this $900 million scandal.

In the coming days, the Finance Committee will begin studying this Liberal attempt to award their close friends with a contract for the better part of a billion taxpayer dollars. They will be doing this under their existing study to monitor pandemic related spending.

Normally, one would expect that the Ethics Committee would take the lead on a matter such as this, however, at this point, it is unclear that they will be able to play any role for the foreseeable future, let alone a leading one. When the Liberals, propped up by the NDP, shuttered our Parliament to avoid accountability they left only a handful of Standing Committees of the House of Commons with the ability to meet. It won’t be surprising to learn that the Conservative-chaired Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics was decidedly left off the list by the Liberals. The decision by the NDP to gamble away democracy on the promise of 10 paid sick days effectively means that there is no guarantee that the Ethics Committee will even be able to sit. This is unacceptable - it is clear that the Ethics Committee must immediately be reconvened. That is why my Conservative colleagues have requested an emergency meeting in order to begin the process of reviewing the safeguards in place to avoid these types of transgressions, and to order vital documents about money paid to members of the Trudeau family for speaking events, including by WE Charity.

Over the course of my time as a Member of Parliament, I have been honoured to serve in a number of roles. One of the most rewarding was my time as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics, as well as the Critic for Ethics. During that time, I wrote the letter to the Ethics Commissioner that resulted in the first time that Justin Trudeau was found guilty of an ethics violation. I can tell you from firsthand experience that in situations like this thing are rarely as simple as they seem or are professed to be. The Opposition, which has been pushed aside with the help of the NDP, have a duty to hold the government to account. In order to do this effectively, we cannot be hamstrung by the rules of the Liberal’s Fake Parliament. Rules that were deliberately designed to skirt accountability. We need Parliament to be immediately recalled so that Conservatives can ask the tough questions and get to the bottom of this investigation. We will not rest until Canadians have answers.
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Blaine Calkins - Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe