Canadian Finance Minister Resigns Amid Scandal, Replaced By Trump-Critical Deputy PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) speaks with Finance Minister Bill Morneau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on November 4, 2015. Trudeau was sworn in as Canada's 23rd prime minister Wednesday before a packed, flag-waving crowd, almost 50 years after his father took on the job. AFP PHOTO/POOL/SEAN KILPATRICK / …

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau has resigned his ministerial post and his parliamentary seat amid the growing WE Charity scandal that has engulfed the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mr Morneau announced his resignation on Monday, stating it was his decision and he was not pushed out of government by the Prime Minister.

“Since I’m not running again, and since I expect that we will have a long and challenging recovery, I think it’s important that the prime minister has by his side a finance minister who has that longer-term vision,” Morneau said, the CBC reports.

Both Morneau and Prime Minister Trudeau are at the centre of the WE Charity scandal and are subject to an investigation by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion.

The investigation comes after the Trudeau government earmarked $43.53 million to the charity to run a nearly billion-dollar student grant programme, while family members of both Trudeau and Morneau had received funds from WE.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s mother Margaret Trudeau, for example, received nearly $500,000 in cash and expenses for speaking at WE charity events, while Trudeau’s brother Alexandre received around $32,000 from the charity.

Now former Finance Minister Morneau was also revealed to have had to repay travel expenses to WE amounting to $41,366. Morneau’s daughter Grace also works directly for the charity, while his other daughter Clare has spoken at WE events in the past.

Morneau has also presided over the largest deficit in modern Canadian history, with the government spending creating a record $343.2 billion deficit in 2020, much of that spending in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

The outgoing leader of the Conservative Party Andrew Scheer described the Trudeau government as being “in chaos” following the resignation of Morneau.

“At a time when Canadians are worried about their health and their finances, Justin Trudeau’s government is so consumed by scandal that Trudeau has amputated his right hand to try and save himself,” he said on Twitter.

The scandal is not the first for Morneau, who in 2017 was fined by the ethics commissioner after refusing to disclose the ownership of a company that owns his villa in southern France.

“I guess that he expects us to believe that he’s so rich that he just forgot that he has a private corporation in France and a wonderful villa in Provence,” Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said at the time.

On Tuesday, the CBC reported that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland would be replacing Morneau as Finance Minister, the first female finance Minister in Candian political history.

The former Foreign Minister is well-known for her dislike of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and at a time when Canada and the USA were in trade negotiations in 2018, she gave a speech in Washington DC seen by many as bashing the President.

Just weeks before the speech, Freeland appeared on a panel labelled “Taking on the Tyrant” that compared President Trump to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Following the new cabinet shuffle, the Trudeau government is also expected to prorogue parliament until October and hit the “reset button” according to the CBC.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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