Finance Minister Bill Morneau apologized to a commons committee for not recusing himself from cabinet discussions on the WE deal due to family ties. But the apology was undercut when the multi-millionaire minister revealed today that he cut a cheque for over $41,000 to repay travel expenses incurred by the WE organization related to two 2017 trips his family took with the organization.
“I expected and always had intended to pay the full cost of these trips, and it was my responsibility to make sure that was done,” Morneau told MPs on the House of Commons finance committee. “Not doing so, even unknowingly, is not appropriate. I want to apologize for this error on my part.”
Morneau said that after conducting a review of his family’s finances in recent days, he found documentation confirming that he already had repaid $52,000 in expenses for the hotels and flights related to the trips to Ecuador and Kenya.
A visibly uncomfortable Morneau also said his family has made two donations totalling $100,000 to the charitable organization — one in April 2018 and one in June of this year — to support the the organization’s work with students in Canada and for COVID-19 relief in Kenya, respectively.
At least two members of the committee called the paid trips “Illegal” and called for Morneau’s resignation. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre asked “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.