Corbella: Document dump proves PMO involved in WE Charity plan

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On May 5, the COVID-19 committee of cabinet approved WE to run the program and the Kielburgers testified that they were approved to start submitting expenses for the program on May 5.

So far, the documents show that WE’s connection with the CSSG programwas shared with five cabinet ministers, three senior political staffers and other top bureaucrats. 

On May 7, Kovacevic sent an email to Rachel Wernick, a senior assistant deputy minister at Employment and Social Development Canada, writing that “WE is connecting with my mino (they are all besties).”

Morneau’s daughter, Grace, is a contract worker at WE and the family took an all-expenses-paid $41,000 vacation to Ecuador with WE, a trip Morneau didn’t pay for until the day he appeared before the committee investigating the controversy in July.

“We now know why Justin Trudeau shut down those parliamentary investigations yesterday,” said Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative Party’s finance critic Wednesday. “We have the documents right here.”

With dramatic flourish, Poilievre read from some of the documents and then held up redacted pages that were completely blacked out but for a date and who sent the email and who received it.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre tosses a redacted document during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Aug. 19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“This page blacked out. This page blacked out. This page blacked out. Why don’t we ask what’s in those pages at a parliamentary committee? Well, I’ll tell you why. Justin Trudeau shut down those parliamentary committees,” said Poilievre.

These documents indicated that either Trudeau did not tell the truth when he testified under oath before the committee or his closest cabinet ministers and highest-ranking staff members purposely and routinely keep their boss in the dark over what at that time was announced to be a $912-million program. Either way, the documents show that political staffers were pushing WE to run the ridiculous and costly program, that could have simply been handled better and faster through the Canada Summer Jobs program, that’s been around for decades and would have paid students at least the $15 minimum wage, rather than $10 per hour to “volunteer” through the CSSG.

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