The Government of Canada has nominated former Liberal MP and finance minister Bill Morneau to the Secretary-General position at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“Mr. Morneau’s experience between 2015 and 2020 as finance minister in an avowedly feminist government and his previous leadership roles in think tanks, philanthropic organizations and the private sector have given him a deep understanding of the major challenges facing the world’s economies,” claimed a Global Affairs Canada press release.
Support for Morneau’s bid was first announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following Morneau’s resignation from cabinet and government.
Morneau resigned amidst the disastrous WE Charity scandal, when it was discovered that Trudeau and Morneau had close personal and financial ties with the organization.
Reports on the scandal revealed that Morneau accepted $41,366 worth of free travel from WE to Ecuador and Kenya prior to signing off on a decision to award the organization a contract to manage the $912 million federal student service grant program.
Morneau eventually apologized for his actions and announced that he had reimbursed the charity for the expenses.
On his way out, the former minister billed taxpayers $81,105 in travel costs. The travel expenses incurred included $583 a night hotel stays in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, during Trudeau’s testimony before the House of Commons finance committee, the prime minister denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
Trudeau’s brother, mother and wife were paid a combined worth of half a million dollars for speaking engagements with WE, and Trudeau’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau hosts a podcast with WE.
“There was never any direction by or attempt to influence from me or my staff that the public service recommend WE Charity,” said Trudeau during his testimony.
Document disclosures later revealed that the prime minister’s office was directly involved in discussions about WE before the decision to award the contract was made.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is currently conducting an investigation into whether the prime minister broke ethics laws in the affair.