Liberals turn over thousands of pages on WE decision


OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government has turned over thousands of pages of documents related to the WE controversy to a House of Commons’ committee, which lawyers are now vetting for personal information and cabinet secrets.

The finance committee demanded the documents last month as it probes whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s relationship with WE Charity influenced the government’s ill-fated decision to have the organization run a $912-million student-volunteer program.

The Liberals handed more than 5,000 pages about the decision to the committee over the weekend, but it isn’t clear when they will be released to members as parliamentary lawyers are going through them to prevent the release of protected information.

Committee members are hoping the documents will shed light on the discussions that led to the decision to have WE run the Canada Student Services Grant, before the deal was cancelled in early July.

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Small Business Minister Mary Ng are expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday to discuss the grant program, which promised to pay students up to $5,000 for volunteering.

Trudeau has apologized for not recusing himself from cabinet discussions about the WE deal given his family’s relationship with the charity, but has denied any wrongdoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press