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Hill Life & People

Liberals to remain in hot seat over WE Charity controversy as Trudeau, Telford prepare for House committee probe

By Palak Mangat      

Plus, Toronto Coun. Mike Layton celebrates what would have been his late father,Jack Layton's, 70th birthday with a selfie in front of the Jack Layton statue.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford, pictured at a Liberal event in 2014, will testify before the House Finance Committee about the WE Charity controversy. The Hill Times file photograph

In a rare move that will place Canada’s prime minister in the parliamentary hot seat and just days before his two-term finance minister admitted to repaying an outstanding $41,366 to We Charity, the organization at the centre of a controversy surrounding the federal government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepted an invitation to appear before the House Finance Committee last week. At the time of publication, the PMO had not nailed down a time to meet the group that met twice last week, on July 21 and 22. The WE Charity controversy has dogged the government in recent weeks, after Mr. Trudeau and Bill Morneau‘s ties to the organization came to light and the group pulled out of the government’s sole-sourced $900-million contract to administer the troubled Canada Student Service Grant this month. Prime ministerial appearances before committees are rare, though ministers often do so to discuss their departmental spending estimates, to push for legislation they have tabled, or to brief and update MPs on decisions within their respective departments. The last such prime ministerial appearance was in 2006, when then-prime minister Stephen Harper appeared before a special Senate reform committee in the Red Chamber. Both Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Harper have turned down other committee invitations during their tenure. Katie Telford, Mr. Trudeau’s chief of staff, will also testify before the committee, which joins the House Ethics Committee in probing the matter.

Palak Mangat

Palak Mangat is an online reporter with The Hill Times.
- pmangat@hilltimes.com

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