Well, the Prime Minister feels that no other organization other than WE CHARITY (which his wife Sophie is an ambassador for and supports) was capable of looking after the Canada Student Service Grant
“The WE organization is the only organization in Canada that has the scale and the ability to deliver volunteer opportunities for young people right across the country at all levels of organizations.” (CBC, 26 June 2020)
Maybe he is right but do we or should we believe him without knowing all of the facts. The answer is NO!
The talk point Trudeau is using they are the “only organization” is the standard talk point all governments regardless of party, use when sole sourcing a contract, often to a friendly corporation.
Other than the PM’s word there is no proof that what he is saying is true. It is time for the media (investigative reporters) to earn their salaries and opposition research staff to start digging for that proof or lack of it.
- ALWAYS follow the money. In this case the timeline. When was the decision made?
- Make a list of other organizations that you think might have been able to do the job and ask them if they could deliver the program- for instance the YMCA-YWCA which has locations across the country. Ask them if they were even contacted by bureaucrats or PMO to see if they could do the job.
- ATIP the hell out of the government
- Ask for all the briefing notes- if they say it is a cabinet confidence, ask for the draft briefing notes.
- Ask for all emails between everyone PCO, PMO, Minister’s office (political staff) and bureaucrats and don’t forget to include any sticky notes attached to files. Emails from one bureaucrat at the desk level send up the line to superiors often reveals far more than governments want you to know. Most briefing notes require multiple sign offs as no single bureaucrat will stick his/her neck out on this type of file. They like group consensus to cover everyone off.
- Ask for copies of all text messages- yes they are often saved on a government server.
- Ask for details of the contract with WE. The standard response is… it is protected information because it involves a private entity- at that point go after WE to release the details. If what the PM is saying is legit, they have nothing to hide.
- Call for an emergency meeting of the House Committee looking after this file- maybe Public Accounts chaired by the Conservatives Dean Allison is a good place to start. In previous years the Conservatives used that committee very successfully to uncover such things as the Sponsorship scandal and the transitional jobs funding scandal of the 1990s under Liberal minister Jane Stewart
- Put bureaucrats under oath when they testify and let the fun begin.
- Call WE before the committee as well. Use your subpoena power if necessary
This is what opposition parties live for… time to start digging folks- the truth always comes out.
Keith is a former Conservative political staffer with over 50 years of active involvement in Canadian politics. During that time, he has held quite a few party positions as well as political staff positions. Most recently, Keith was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Issues Management with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2003-2008). Prior to that he worked as an advisor in the Leader’s Office for Peter Mackay, Joe Clark and Jean Charest. Keith also served as the Chief of Staff to the minister in three Federal departments during Brian Mulroney’s government (1984-89). Additional political experience came as the staff person in charge of Question Period from 1997-2008 where he served in both the Opposition and Government roles. Keith is also known for having created one of the most effective political rapid response teams in Canadian politics. He also has municipal experience and he was a city councilor in a suburb of Montreal. Known for his bluntness and to the point comments, his blog is also known for its fairness and respectful treatment of politicians from all parties. A well-known political pundit, Keith has appeared many times on Canadian political panels and he has been interviewed by major Canadian networks including CTV, CBC, Global. He has also given presentations/speeches in various parts of Canada and the USA.