(Ottawa) Under the media radar for some time, the Trudeau Foundation reappears: a House of Commons committee asked the Auditor General to investigate its management of the $125 million endowment fund allocated by the federal government in 2002.
A motion adopted by the standing committee on public accounts last Thursday invites the independent agent of Parliament to “conduct an investigation into the Funding Agreement concerning the advanced research fund in the humanities and social sciences between the government and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation “.
We particularly wish to obtain clarification from Auditor General (AG) Karen Hogan “with regard to compliance with the Foundation’s obligations under this agreement and under relevant Canadian legislation,” we add in the resolution. approved unanimously, therefore by the liberals.
If the committee decided to take this path, it is to use its time more judiciously, explains Bloc member Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné. Instead of devoting the remaining time to hearing witnesses, “we said to ourselves that the best way to find out for sure was to ask the AG to look,” she said.
The Trudeau Foundation found itself in turmoil last spring, following revelations made in the Globe and Mailaccording to which the Chinese regime used the charity as a vehicle to interfere in the Canadian democratic process.
A new strategy
Asked by the opposition parties in Ottawa last April, the Auditor General closed the door to launching an audit, explaining that it was not her responsibility “to examine the origin of private donations, “identity of other donors or their possible motivations”.
The committee found another handle, M believesme Sinclair-Desgagné: “The subtlety of this motion is that we are asking that the AG look at the endowment agreement signed between the Trudeau Foundation and the government, which granted 125 million in public money to the Foundation. That’s right up his alley.”
The organization’s former president and CEO, Pascale Fournier, left her position last April. Before a committee of the House of Commons, she maintained that she had thrown in the towel because the CA had failed to shed light on the management of the Chinese donation of $140,000 at the origin of the crisis.
The AG’s office did not specify its intentions to The PressFriday.
The $125 million endowment fund was allocated to the Trudeau Foundation in 2002. When he became leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2013, Justin Trudeau distanced himself from the organization bearing his father’s name.
However, he had difficulty convincing that the link was broken – especially since the report on interference in the 2021 election was signed by a former director of the Foundation, Morris Rosenberg, and that the former Governor General and former member of the Foundation, David Johnston, has said no to a public inquiry.
The Trudeau government finally resigned itself to creating a public commission of inquiry into foreign interference. The one who will hold the reins, judge Marie-Josée Hogue, took office almost two weeks ago.
with the collaboration of Katia Gagnon, The Press