The House of Commons finance committee is set to hear from Youth Minister Bardish Chagger about the aborted deal with WE Charity, in a July 16, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Commons finance committee to begin probing WE Charity’s volunteering contract

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted he should have recused himself from the decision

The first of multiple parliamentary investigations of the federal government’s aborted deal with WE Charity to run a volunteering program begins this afternoon.

The House of Commons finance committee is set to hear from Youth Minister Bardish Chagger and some senior public servants as it probes how WE got a sole-sourced contract to administer the $900-million program.

The Canada Student Service Grant is aimed at students who haven’t been able to find work this summer, offering up to $5,000 toward education costs in exchange for 500 hours of volunteering.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted he should have recused himself from the decision to award the contract, given his family’s links to the group co-founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger.

ALSO READ: Conservatives call for Trudeau to testify at committee on WE Charity deal

The federal ethics watchdog has opened an investigation into Trudeau’s role in the awarding of the contract after requests from opposition parties.

The average time to complete an investigation is seven months.

And now ethics commissioner Mario Dion will also investigate Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s decision to take part in the cabinet vote.

In a series of tweets this morning, Dion’s office says the commissioner will probe whether Morneau violated two sections of the conflict of interest law.

One of Morneau’s daughters is employed by WE Charity.

Last week, Morneau apologized for not recusing himself from the decision to award WE the student grant program contract.

WE gave up the contract amid the controversy two weeks ago.

The government has since taken control of the program, but has been struggling with the details while the summer ticks by.

The Canadian Press

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