Volume 43 | July 15, 2020
Hoback Electronic Herald

(Click on the question above to answer, or email your answer to randy.hoback@parl.gc.ca ).

Results from the previous poll will be released shortly, as responses are still being received.
In the previous edition of my newsletter, I outlined why the Conservative Caucus wrote to the Auditor General requesting that she include the cost of the Trudeau government’s decision outsource the $900 million Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) to the WE Charity. The relationship between Justin Trudeau and the Charity is well documented.

Media has since reported that the WE Charity paid J ustin Trudeau’s mother and brother to appear at WE Charity events. Justin Trudeau’s mother (Margaret) received $312,000, and the Prime Minister’s brother (Alexandre) received $40,000. 

In response to this report, the Conservative Party Caucus has called for a criminal investigation into Justin Trudeau’s decision to hand almost a billion-dollar contract to a charity that not only had close ties to the Liberal Party, but
also paid his family . Justin Trudeau did not recuse himself from the decision to hand almost a billion dollars to WE Charity. It is clear that a criminal investigation is warranted.
The Trudeau Liberals cannot hide from this scandal. Every single Cabinet Minister must answer for their part in approving this massive contract. Did they know that the Prime Minister’s family had a financial relationship with WE Charity? Would that have changed their position on awarding the organization a sole-sourced contract? Canadians deserve answers.
Parliament must immediately be recalled so that Opposition parties can ask questions and get to the bottom of this. The Finance Committee and the Government Operations Committee must accelerate their investigations. The Ethics Committee must immediately be reconvened to hear witness testimony. The Trudeau government must immediately hand over all of the documents related to this contract. The Ethics Commissioner must accelerate his investigation. The Auditor General and the Procurement Ombudsman must investigate. No stone can be left unturned.
Justin Trudeau has already been found guilty of accepting a paid vacation on a luxury island. He was found guilty for his involvement in the SNC-Lavalin Corruption Scandal. Now, he is under investigation for the third time in three years. As they say in baseball, three strikes and you’re out.
As a Caucus, we will continue to hold the Prime Minister and his government accountable. We will not rest until Canadians have answers.
The Government of Canada announced this week the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended until December of this year.

More information on this announcement will is coming soon via the following website:
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
Dear Commissioner,
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.
Yours truly,
Michael Barrett, M.P.
Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Ethics
When Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government’s Economic and Fiscal ‘Snapshot’, he confirmed that the Liberals are running a deficit of
$343.2 billion this year, and for the first time the net federal debt will reach over $1 trillion this year.
The ‘snapshot’ also shows, for this year alone, a revenue loss of $71.1 billion, spending increases of $236.9 billion, and that the federal debt has increased to 49.1 per cent of GDP.
While the snapshot does not announce any new measures, it does include new money for as-yet-unannounced changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Unlike in previous years, the government refused to provide at least a 5-year forecast.
The Liberals have completely abandoned their fiscal anchors and Canada’s economic ship is adrift. Canada now has the highest unemployment in the G7. It is the only G7 country to lose its AAA credit rating and we are now the only G7 country without an economic recovery plan.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Justin Trudeau has either been wrong or slow to act and his failure has cost Canadians:

  • He has been slow to close our borders, while other countries were rushing to close theirs.

  • He was wrong to dispose of critical medical supplies at a Regina dump while failing to replace them. He was slow to enhance airport screening, allowing the virus to spread.

  • He was slow to roll out programs for struggling Canadians,and wrong not to fix their programs to keep Canadians from falling through the cracks.

  • He was wrong to leave small businesses behind – forcing many to close permanently. He was wrong to raise taxes when Canadians were already struggling to make ends meet.

  • Trudeau was wrong to abandon the oil and gas sector, promising help within “hours or days” but offering nothing.

  • He was wrong to not fully fund the Auditor General's Office so Canadians could see how their tax dollars are being spent. The Liberal government has included an additional $15 million for the Deputy Prime Minister’s office but have failed include any new funding for the Auditor General's Office to provide oversight of the government’s unprecedented spending.

  • And Trudeau was wrong to shut down Parliament, refusing to let MPs do their jobs and provide crucial oversight

Before COVID-19, Canada's unemployment rate was higher than all G7 countries except France and Italy. Now, Canada has surpassed them and has the highest unemployment rate in the G7.

The Conservative Caucus has always supported getting help to Canadians who need it. However we knew that handing out billions of dollars to Liberal insiders wouldn't restart our economy.The government could have brought in new measures to help Canadians get back to work, such as our Back to Work Bonus. But they chose not to. 

There is nothing in this ‘snapshot’ that will help Canadians get back to work.
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to reverberate through our economy, I was pleased to take part in last week's House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade meeting, which heard from representatives of Global Affairs Canada, business and agricultural organizations.

During the meeting, Global Affairs officials confirmed what I had been hearing throughout the pandemic - that it has put significant pressure on our critical supply chains, and that a lack of diversity in our trading partners is a "critical risk for businesses and governments." 

My Conservative colleagues and I have consistently called for three things to assist our domestic industries while they weather the current economic storm created by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Diversified supply chains protect our ability to continue to import and export products, irrespective of global virus outbreaks;

  • Secure supply chains mean that our allies have our back and vice versa when it comes to ensuring that critical supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and agricultural exports and imports get where they need to go during challenging times; and

  • New markets for Canadian goods and services give Canadians the ability to evolve and strengthen our supply chains so that our business owners and farmers can continue to work and employ others.

Last week's committee meeting included testimony from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, among others. 

I'm hope the government will seriously consider the concrete recommendations made by these organizations to assist in Canada's economic recovery.

To read the testimony that we heard last week in detail, please click here .
Just a reminder that every Wednesday is Canada Takeout Day. I encourage everyone to support a local restaurant on Wednesdays if you are able to afford doing so.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged residents and businesses in throughout our constituency. I continue to hear from too many small business owners who are struggling through this crisis.

Residents can help by supporting our local businesses while following the advice of health officials. Please join me in shopping local to support our retailers.

On the other side of this crisis, it will be the success of small, local businesses that will put Canada on the path to prosperity once again.