Bill Morneau drops out of OECD leadership race due to lack of support

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Former finance minister Bill Morneau is dropping his bid to be the next secretary-general of the OECD after realizing he lacked the support to advance in the race. 

Morneau said in a Tuesday announcement that he was proud of his campaign, but didn’t have the backing of enough member states.

“I have decided to withdraw from the race to become the next Secretary-General of the OECD, as I do not have support from enough members to continue to the third round of the campaign,” wrote Morneau.

“I am proud to have used this opportunity to talk about issues that matter to Canadians and to the world- the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against climate change, inclusive growth and seizing the opportunities of the digital world.”

The former Toronto Centre MP resigned from cabinet and the House of Commons in August in the midst of the fallout from the WE Charity scandal. 

During a parliamentary testimony over his involvement in the $900 million student service grant debacle, Morneau admitted that he had paid back the charity $41,000 for free travel he received in 2017, while he was still Canada’s finance minister.

Trudeau and his own family were also implicated in the scandal after it was revealed that his mother, wife and brother had received nearly half a million dollars in pay from WE for various speaking engagements. 

Following the admission, media reports signalled that Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau butt heads over the issue. 

Since leaving the position to pursue the OECD role, the federal government assigned 19 public sector workers to help the former minister on his campaign. 

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