Auditor general of Canada Karen Hogan holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The auditor general for Canada says COVID-19 benefits were delivered quickly and helped mitigate economic suffering for Canadians, but the federal government hasn't done enough to recover overpayments.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Auditor general ‘assessing’ mandate in terms of Trudeau Foundation ask to investigate

The federal auditor general’s office says it is still “assessing” its mandate as it relates to a request from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation to investigate its handling of two donations with possible links to the Chinese government.

The foundation’s interim board chair wrote to the office last week, saying it would welcome an investigation by auditor Karen Hogan into donations made in 2016 and 2017 that totalled $140,000.

The foundation calls itself an independent, non-partisan scholarship organization, but its CEO and most members of its board of directors recently resigned due to what it described as the politicization of a donation from Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin and another Chinese businessman, Niu Gensheng.

Interim board chair Edward Johnson points to the public controversy in his letter and notes that when the foundation was originally created to honour the legacy of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 2002, it received a $125 million endowment from the federal government.

A foundation spokesperson says the organization believes that endowment makes it subject to audits by the auditor general, but Hogan’s office says it is still assessing whether that is the case.

The office says it investigates the activities of federal government departments and agencies, Crown corporations and the country’s three territorial governments and their agencies.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up