$900 million WE Charity deal never reviewed by Treasury Board

The proposal to award WE Charity oversee a $900 million federal student service grant was not reviewed by the Treasury Board. 

Federal Assistant Comptroller General Kathleen Owens told the House of Commons government operations committee on Monday evening that the project was instead approved by Youth Minister Bardish Chagger without a review. 

“In the case of the WE Charity contribution agreement, it did not come to the Treasury Board because it was determined the program was within the Minister’s authority,” said Owens. 

“We determined it was under the Minister’s authority. Therefore the program and the contribution agreement never came to the Treasury Board. The Treasury Board had no role.”

The Treasury Board is responsible for federal spending oversight and is customarily involved in vetting large projects like the service grant. 

The controversial program, which plunged the Liberal government into another scandal, was hastily passed in May of this year before being scrapped after critics accused the federal government of a conflict of interest with the charity.

Members of Trudeau’s family, including his wife, mother and brother were employed as speakers and paid by the charity upward to half a million dollars.  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently being investigated by the ethics commissioner for breaking federal ethics laws for the third time since being elected in his role.

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