June 10th, 2021
Statement following the release of the report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics on the WE Charity scandal
Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay and NDP Ethics Critic, and Alexandre Boulerice, NDP Deputy Leader, issued the following statement:
"We welcome the recent report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.
During Summer 2020, when Canadians were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, people were relying on the federal government to launch programs that helped them keep their jobs, pay their rent, and support themselves and their families. Canadians were shocked to see that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were directly supporting the Kielburger brothers and their network without appropriate accountability measures.
It became immediately clear through this study that this was just how the Liberals operate – if you’re a member of the Liberals’ inner circle, you will get priority access to contracts worth billions of dollars.
The Liberal WE Charity scandal has severely undermined public confidence in this Liberal government. Canadians need to know that their government will be there for them, not just for their friends.
We call on the Liberal government to implement the recommendations in this report without delay. The public's trust in the government must be restored.
The Liberals must now conduct a mandatory review to determine if a cabinet member may be in conflict of interest and, if so, require the recusal of that member before any cabinet decision is made on the awarding of a contract. We are also asking for vigorous competition for outsourcing be included on any large projects.
We also call on the government to conduct a conflict of interest review of all decisions made in the office of the Minister of Finance. New Democrats also want to see a comprehensive review to examine how non-registered lobbying groups had such direct access to the Minister of Finance.
The NDP will continue to fight for more transparency and make sure Canadians always come first.