Conservative MPs Michael Barrett and Pierre Poilievre hold a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 29, 2020. The federal Conservatives want MPs to create an anti-corruption committee to investigate the WE Charity issue. Barrett, the Tory ethics critic, says the new forum would press for answers to lingering questions about the controversy. In the meantime, the Conservatives plan to press the House of Commons ethics and finance committees this week to resume looking at the matter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative MPs Michael Barrett and Pierre Poilievre hold a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 29, 2020. The federal Conservatives want MPs to create an anti-corruption committee to investigate the WE Charity issue. Barrett, the Tory ethics critic, says the new forum would press for answers to lingering questions about the controversy. In the meantime, the Conservatives plan to press the House of Commons ethics and finance committees this week to resume looking at the matter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservatives want an anti-corruption committee to probe WE Charity controversy

‘Canadians deserve answers’

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives want MPs to create an anti-corruption committee to investigate the WE Charity issue.

Tory ethics critic Michael Barrett says the new forum would press for answers to lingering questions about the controversy.

In the meantime, the Conservatives plan to press the House of Commons ethics and finance committees this week to resume looking at the matter.

They say the proposed new anti-corruption committee could soon take over the probe of the Liberal government’s choice of WE Charity to administer the the multimillion-dollar Canada Student Service Grant program.

Opposition MPs have been grilling the government for months over the now-abandoned program because of WE Charity’s close connections to the families of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau, the recently departed finance minister.

The Liberals have consistently said it was federal public servants who recommended the grant program be administered by the youth group, but the Conservatives say there are still unanswered questions.

“Canadians deserve answers,” Barrett told a news conference Monday. “We deserve accountability.”

The office of Liberal House leader Pablo Rodriguez noted that Trudeau, his chief of staff, the clerk of the Privy Council and various public servants have already appeared at committee.

The government will remain focused on protecting the health and safety of the public, the office said, adding: “Canadians deserve better than the Conservatives’ partisan games.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2020.

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