Below is the text of my colleague Michael Barrett`s open letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki regarding Justin Trudeau's $900 million scandal. Michael serves as the Official Opposition's Shadow Minister for Ethics:
July 10, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For the last several weeks, ethical questions have piled up about the federal government’s decision to award a sole-sourced $912-million contract to administer the Canada Student Service Grant to WE Charity, a group with deep and extensive links to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family. These relationships have led the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to begin an examination under the Conflict of Interest Act.
Yesterday, media reports revealed that three members of the Trudeau family have been paid by WE Charity—including, since Mr. Trudeau’s appointment as Prime Minister, $312,000 to Margaret Trudeau and $40,000 to Alexandre Trudeau.
Federal government proactive disclosures show that the Canada Student Service Grant is not the beginning of WE Charity’s dealings with the federal government. Government records confirm that, since 2017, WE Charity has received seven grants or contributions totalling about $5.2 million, plus another five contracts (some falling mere dollars short of the threshold where tendering would have been required) totalling over $120,000.
At first blush, it troubles me that these transactions may have breached Criminal Code subsection 119(1) (bribery of a judicial officer) and/or paragraphs 121(1)(a) to (c) and subparagraph 121(1)(e)(i) (frauds upon the government):
119 (1) Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who
(a) being the holder of a judicial office, or being a member of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by them in their official capacity, or
(b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by that person in their official capacity.
121 (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) directly or indirectly
(i) gives, offers or agrees to give or offer to an official or to any member of his family, or to any one for the benefit of an official, or
(ii) being an official, demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from any person for himself or another person, a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with
(iii) the transaction of business with or any matter of business relating to the government, or
(iv) a claim against Her Majesty or any benefit that Her Majesty is authorized or is entitled to bestow,
whether or not, in fact, the official is able to cooperate, render assistance, exercise influence or do or omit to do what is proposed, as the case may be;
(b) having dealings of any kind with the government, directly or indirectly pays a commission or reward to or confers an advantage or benefit of any kind on an employee or official of the government with which the dealings take place, or to any member of the employee’s or official’s family, or to anyone for the benefit of the employee or official, with respect to those dealings, unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government with which the dealings take place;
(c) being an official or employee of the government, directly or indirectly demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from a person who has dealings with the government a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind for themselves or another person, unless they have the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government that employs them or of which they are an official…
(e) directly or indirectly gives or offers, or agrees to give or offer, to a minister of the government or an official, or to anyone for the benefit of a minister or an official, a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence, or an act or omission, by that minister or official, in connection with
(i) anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iii) or (iv)….
I encourage the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate the possibility of criminal offences arising from these disturbing facts. You and the very able members of the national police force possess the necessary skills, expertise and tools to get to the bottom of this.
I look forward to hearing from you that these serious and troubling matters are under investigation.
Michael Barrett, M.P.
Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Ethics