Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer. (The Canadian Press)

Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign over WE deal

Andrew Scheer has previously called for Finance Minister Bill Morneau to be fired

Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should resign over his role in the controversy involving the WE organization.

Scheer has previously called for Finance Minister Bill Morneau to be fired for trips he and members of his family took in 2017, part of which were paid for by WE Charity.

“In the past, just being under investigation was enough for members of Parliament to step aside, put their country ahead of their own ego, ahead of their own political careers, step aside and allow the work that government must continue to do to proceed without that cloud of suspicion,” Scheer told reporters Friday in Regina.

“None of that has happened under Justin Trudeau so that’s why this conversation is turning to stricter penalties.”

In what appears to be an attempt to drive a wedge between Trudeau and members of his own caucus, Scheer now says Liberal MPs who do not want to be seen as complicit in this controversy should demand that their leader quit.

“Liberal MPs have a choice to make: are they prepared to sacrifice their personal integrity to protect their scandal-plagued leader and to cover up corruption or are they willing to take a stand and demand that Trudeau step aside?” he said.

“If the Liberals refuse to act, if they sit on their hands and say nothing, then they are implicitly approving of this corrupt behaviour and they will be just as guilty as Justin Trudeau is.”

When asked if he would be willing to force an election over the issue in the minority Parliament, Scheer said such an opportunity will not come until the House of Commons resumes full business in September, which he says is why Trudeau and Morneau should leave now of their own accord.

He also says a decision about seeking to defeat the Liberal government on a confidence motion should be made by the next leader of the party after results of the Conservative leadership contest are announced in late August.

Scheer dismissed the suggestion that replacing Trudeau and Morneau in the middle of a pandemic would create further uncertainty in the country.

“It would allow the government to move on, past these scandals, and focus on improving the lives of Canadians,” he said.

On Wednesday, Morneau told a Commons committee he had just repaid WE Charity more than $41,000 for expenses the group covered for trips his family took to Kenya and Ecuador in 2017 to see some of its humanitarian work. He said he had always planned to personally cover those amounts.

WE said the Morneau family trips were meant to be complimentary, part of a practice of showing donors WE’s work to encourage them to give more.

Both Morneau and Trudeau are facing an ethics investigation for not recusing themselves during discussions about awarding WE a deal to run the government’s $912-million program that would pay students grants of up to $5,000 based on the hours they volunteer.

Trudeau and Morneau have apologized for not declaring possible conflicts because of their familial ties to the organization — Trudeau because of speaking fees paid to his brother, mother and wife, and Morneau because one of his daughters is nearing the end of a one-year contract in an administrative role.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Justin Trudeau

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Helping hands launch Vancouver Island woman’s mission of gratitude

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Vancouver Island business using robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries only firm on the Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

Editorial: Preventing wildfires more vital than ever in 2020

We are truly our own worst enemies on this file

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Oyster River department battles Black Creek house fire

UPDATED: House experiences extensive damage, no one inside at the time

Vancouver Island RCMP warn of ongoing frauds

Here are some of the more common scams to be aware of

North Island College ready for a virtual fall semester

“It’s a really good time to be a student.”

Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

New Astroturf will be ready for school, sports still cancelled

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Most Read