Canadian Opposition Seeks Wider Probe Into Family Member Lobbying Trudeau Cabinet – Letter
TORONTO, September 3- Canada’ s official opposition party is seeking an expanded lobbying probe into the husband of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’ s chief of staff amid reports he lobbied parts of the cabinet for changes to a government program for the benefit of his company, the Conservative Party said in a press release on Thursday. The letter to Canada’ s…
TORONTO, September 3 (Sputnik) – Canada’s official opposition party is seeking an expanded lobbying probe into the husband of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff amid reports he lobbied parts of the cabinet for changes to a government program for the benefit of his company, the Conservative Party said in a press release on Thursday.
Last month, multiple outlets reported that Rob Silver, the husband of Trudeau’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford, who is not a registered lobbyist, had unregistered conversations with both the Prime Minister’s Office and the office of former Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s in an effort to change the $51-billion wage subsidy program on behalf of his company, MCAP, which was initially ineligible for the government contract.
“Commissioner, we are inquiring if the available public information on this matter provides cause for your office to open a second assessment into the unregistered communications between Mr. Silver, the Prime Minister’s Office and former Finance Minister’s Office on amending the wage subsidy program in order for MCAP to qualify,” the letter said.
The letter to Canada’s Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Belanger states that earlier correspondence between the authors of the letter, Shadow Minister of Finance Pierre Poilievre and Shadow Minister for Ethics Michael Barrett, and Belanger indicates that a preliminary investigation into alleged lobbying by Silver, in the awarding of a $64-million government subcontract to MCAP, is underway.
According to the reports, Silver, the Senior Vice President of Strategy, Policy and Risk at MCAP, sought to ensure that MCAP would be eligible for the emergency wage subsidy program and even requested specific legislative amendments to the lucrative government program as part of his endeavor.
A potential second investigation into Silver’s alleged lobbying of the Trudeau government, would be an additional blow to the prime minister after a scandal-fueled summer.
Revelations that the Trudeau government awarded a $670-million sole-source contract to WE Charity to administer a government-sponsored program despite the prime minister, his family and members of his cabinet enjoying a close relationship with the charity has sparked outrage.
The scandal also forced the resignation of Morneau, who faced mounting backlash following his admission that he accepted expense paid trips from the WE Charity.
There are currently multiple investigations ongoing related to the Prime Minister and his government. Trudeau is the subject of a conflict of interest probe by the Canada’s Ethics Commissioner into his relationship with the embattled charity – the third during his five years in office.
Concurrently, there are a number of parliamentary investigations concerning the awarding of the multi-billion-dollar government to the WE Charity that have been halted after Trudeau shut down parliament until the end of September, which the opposition has said smacks of a cover-up.
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