Shadow Finance Minister Pierre Poilievre's line of questioning put Trudeau's Finance Minister Bill Morneau in a visibly uncomfortable position, as the minister alleges that he had forgotten to pay back a $41,366 bill for two WE Charity trips to Kenya and Ecuador.
"Do you expect us to believe that it is a mere coincidence that you repaid over $40,000 of expenses associated with your travel on a WE Charity trip today on the same day you were expected to testify under oath about it?" pressed Poilievre.
"You didn't know about a $41,000 expense? How is that possible?" Poilievre continued.
"The average Canadian living in Red Deer or Halifax that goes on a trip would notice if there was a $40 thousand expense that they didn't pay... You're telling me that on this very luxurious trip that $41,000 expenses happened right under your nose and you didn't know about it until suddenly, through an epiphany, it came to your attention the very day that you were to testify to a parliamentary committee about it?"
Morneau responded by calling it a mistake he regrets, saying that he will work with the ethics commissioner to ensure that it's "fully understood and accounted for."
Morneau's acceptance of the benefits associated with the trip are illegal under the conflict of interests act. Morneau would not acknowledge whether or not they were, indeed, illegal.
Poilievre also highlighted that Morneau announced a $3 million grant for WE Charity in August 2019, the same month that Morneau's daughter accepted a job for the organization.