Canadian Finance Minister steps down amid charity scandal

# 05:23
18 August 2020

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau is stepping down from his cabinet role and as the parliamentarian for a Toronto riding after weeks of scrutiny for his role in a charity scandal that has plagued the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, APA reports citing Sputnik.

“I will be stepping down as the finance minister and as Member of Parliament for [the riding of] Toronto-Centre”, Morneau told reporters on Monday.

Trudeau and Morneau have incurred backlash after multiple investigative pieces revealed close ties between their families and the WE Charity, which was awarded a $670-million sole-source contract to administer a government-sponsored student volunteer program.

Morneau has faced increasing criticism following his admission that he accepted expense paid trips from the WE Charity amid a disconcerting fiscal picture resultant from the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

In July, he told the Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance that he reimbursed the company for the trips that he and his family took to participate in the charity's projects in Kenya and Ecuador in 2017. According to the minister, he paid nearly $70,000 in compensation.

Morneau was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the November 2015 federal election and has served at the post for almost five years.