Finance Minister Bill Morneau did not disclose his personal ties to the WE Charity before voting to give the Kielburger-run charity $43.5 million, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his testimony yesterday.
During the testimony, Trudeau said he did not know Morneau had accepted the $41,366 in vacation expenses, and only knew that one of Morneau's daughters had connections with the charity, not both.
When pressed by Bloc MP Rheal Fortin, Trudeau explicitly stated that he did not know Morneau made specific trips with WE Charity.
Morneau testified to the committee Tuesday, saying that he had just written the WE Charity a cheque for $41,366 on July 22 to repay expenses from family vacations to Kenya and Ecuador to "learn more about the WE Charity."
"In the summer of 2017, my wife and my daughter... traveled to Kenya to learn about WE school projects. Later that same year, I traveled with my family to Ecuador to see and participate in WE's humanitarian work there," the finance minister said.
Morneau said that he and his family reviewed of their finances, and only then they found that he had not reimbursed the WE Charity for the vacation.
"I am very sorry this happened," Morneau told the committee. "It’s not appropriate. I want to apologize for this error on my part."
The Conflict Of Interest Act states that MPs must promptly disclose gifts over $200. It also forbids public office holders from accepting gifts "that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence the public office holder in the exercise of an official power, duty or function."