Conservatives demand investigation into Margaret Trudeau's speaking appearance
The Conservative Party is calling on Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion for an investigation into whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act. This call followed after Trudeau's mother spoke at an event organized by a group that received federal funding.
In the letter , Conservative MP Michael Barrett notes how Margaret Trudeau spoke at Elevate.ca’s Think 2030 series on Oct. 14 to address the mental health impacts of the pandemic, suggesting that Trudeau may have violated Section 6 (1) and Section 7 of the Conflict of Interest Act if he had advanced his mothers’ private interests by directing money to the organization.
Elevate, a Toronto-based not-for-profit, received $5.8 million from the federal government to help job seekers from under-represented communities. They refused to disclose how much, if anything, they paid Margaret Trudeau. However, they denied a relationship between the event and the government funding.
“Elevate did not receive any federal funding whatsoever for its event Think 2030,” Elevate general manager Lisa Zarzeczny said in an email.
“Mr. Trudeau’s failures in the past to respect Canada’s Ethics Laws make it particularly important that scrutiny is applied to any and all potential conflicts of interest,” Barrett’s letter also reads.
In this case, Barrett is referencing past payments to Margaret Trudeau and other family members by WE Charity by the ethics commissioner, which ultimately ruled that there was no contravention of the Conflict of Interest Act.
Margaret Trudeau has declined to comment. The PMO states funding was for a program that “aims to reskill 5,300 job seekers from underrepresented communities, including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, and francophone professionals in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and match them with job openings in technology and innovation-based organizations, start-ups and the creative industries.”