WE Charity: a rare witness to the coming of a prime minister

WE Charity: un rare témoignage à venir d’un premier ministre en fonction

The testimony that the prime minister Justin Trudeau will be in front of a parliamentary committee examining the case WE Charity will, without a doubt something historic in the fact that the precedents are rare and that the last appearance of the kind that goes back more than a decade.

About five prime ministers in office have testified before the committees or royal commissions in Canada’s history, according to a research non-exhaustive conducted by the Library of Parliament.

Everything indicates that the last case dates back to 2006, when the former conservative prime minister Stephen Harper has testified before the special Committee on the reform of the Senate.

“This is the first time that a prime minister testifies before a senate committee. We are pleased that he has agreed to appear before our committee and we are very eager to hear his comments” had even launched Daniel Hays at the time, who was the president of the upper house, if one relies on the transcripts available online.

Previously, the father of Justin Trudeau, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, also appeared before a committee a few times in the early 1980s, according to the review of the Library of Parliament. In the case of the former liberal leader, it was before the standing Committee on estimates.

The conservative Joe Clark was also presented before this same committee, in 1979. If you go back even further in time, we discover that in 1932, Richard Bedford Bennett, also of allegiance conservative, has had to testify before a special committee after he was accused, among other things, having paid out of public funds the honeymoon trip from her sister.

In the case of Justin Trudeau, it was not clear Thursday when he would testify before the finance Committee of the House of commons to deliver his version of the facts in the case WE Charity. The controversy erupted after he and his government had given the management of a volunteer program student of$ 900 Million to the organization WE Charity, close to Trudeau.

The prime minister is also referred to, in the wake of this case, by an investigation of the ethics commissioner and the conflicts of interest, Mario Dion. This is the third time since his election in 2015, as it must bend in such an exercise. The two previous times, Mr. Trudeau has received a reprimand.

In addition to the Committee on finance, of the ethics also wants Mr. Trudeau for a testimony. The latter has accepted the invitation for the first of two convocations, and has not yet responded publicly to the second.

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