Tempers flared during a Senate debate on a motion to investigate the Trudeau government’s connections to the WE Charity.
During the debate, Conservative Senator Leo Housakos called the Prime Minister a “bribe taker” due to Trudeau’s close ties with the charity and the government’s decision to handpick WE to oversee a $900 million federal student service grant.
In response to Housakos’ comments, a heated exchange between senators ensued. Housakos was shouted down with chants of “Shame!” according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“This scandal has shown us the Trudeau family and their friends have no scruples when it comes to money.” said Housakos.
Trudeau-appointed Senator Pierre Dalphond said Housakos was purposefully muddying the waters of an ethics violation and committing a crime.
Another Trudeau-appointed Senator Frances Lankin said, “We all heard Senator Housakos accuse the Prime Minister of bribery. Bribery is a charge under the Criminal Code.”
Dalphond demanded the statement be withdrawn and be followed by an apology. Housakos, however, was unwavering in his accusation.
“I believe WE Charity gave a payment to his mother, to his brother, to his wife at various times, and in a complete conflict of interest and breach of the Criminal Code months later, there was an exchange of government grants.” said Housakos.
Although Senators have parliamentary privilege and cannot be charged with libel for their statements, Housakos asserted he would make the same statements outside of the chamber and would welcome a libel suit from Trudeau.
Housakos said he would happily take the opportunity to cross-examine Trudeau in court.
Earlier this year, critics accused Prime Minister Trudeau of cronyism in his decision to pick WE. Several members of Trudeau’s family, including his wife, mother and brother, have benefited financially from close ties to the charity.
During their testimonies before the Standing Committee on Finance, the founders of WE Marc and Craig Kielburger revealed that Trudeau’s mother Margaret Trudeau was paid $479,944 for WE speaking engagements.
The scandal also resulted in the resignation of then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau and the closing down of WE’s operations in Canada.