Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected in the House of Commons on July 21, 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Scrutiny of WE deal to resume at committee, in House of Commons Tuesday

MPs want Trudeau to appear at committee

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s cancelled contract with an organization connected closely to the prime minister will be back in the spotlight today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected in the House of Commons, with the opposition raring to press him on how his cabinet decided to approve handing control over a $900-million student program to the WE Charity organization.

The Conservatives’ latest line of attack is linked to media reports of internal problems with WE, including one by Canadaland suggesting auditors had raised red flags about how the organization has handled its finances in recent years.

The Tories say that raises questions about how much due diligence was actually done before the contract to run the Canada Student Services Grant program was awarded to WE.

The Liberals have said the non-partisan public service made the call, and the top public servant will also be answering questions on the deal today.

Clerk of the Privy Council Ian Shugart is scheduled to appear at the House of Commons finance committee, which has been probing exactly how the contract was awarded.

MPs also want Trudeau to appear before that committee, but it is unclear whether he will accept the invitation.

The Commons is sitting to pass legislation that would extend and expand the COVID-19 wage subsidy program, as well as payments to Canadians with disabilities to help them cover pandemic-related costs.

The bill is expected to pass mid-afternoon with the support of all parties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.

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