Liberals say they will back off delay tactics on WE Charity affair

Pablo Rodriguez

OTTAWA — The Liberals are preparing to cede some ground on the WE Charity affair, which has been mired in filibusters and duelling committee motions for nearly two months.

Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez says his party has agreed to send unredacted documents linked to the controversy to the parliamentary law clerk, who will then decide what information needs to be blacked out to protect personal privacy.

The concession comes in response to a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair amount to a breach of the committee’s privileges.

Rodriguez, whose Liberal colleagues on the finance committee had filibustered the motion for weeks, says in a series of tweets that civil servants will still redact information tied to cabinet confidences or unrelated material.

That proposal differs slightly from the Conservative motion, which would leave it in the law clerk’s hands to black out confidential cabinet communications.

The broader controversy revolves around the government’s decision in June to pay WE Charity $43.5 million to manage a grant program for student volunteers, despite the organization’s close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family.