Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has issued a public “ultimatum” for federal Liberals that he says could mean another election this October.
Blanchet told reporters in Ottawa Wednesday that, in addition to its earlier calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau to resign for their roles in the WE Charity controversy, his party also wants Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, to step down.
If the demands are not met, Blanchet said, he will move a motion of non-confidence in the minority Parliament this fall.
“We should remove three persons from office, instead of two, because things are getting worse,” he said.
Watch: Bloc leader says Trudeau, Morneau, and Telford need to go
Blanchet reiterated that he feels Trudeau and Morneau “disqualified” themselves from their current roles because of the WE Charity controversy. Both men are facing ethics investigations for not recusing themselves, despite their family ties to WE Charity, from the government’s decision to award the group a since-scrapped deal to manage a $912-million student-grant program. The ethics commissioner is also probing Morneau’s repayment to the WE organization of $41,366 to cover travel expenses for family trips to Kenya and Ecuador in 2017.
Blanchet has upped the ante to include Telford in light of new questions about the management of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance emergency program, introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide rent relief for small businesses. Though Ottawa tapped the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) to run the program, the Crown corporation outsourced the work to mortgage lender MCAP, where Telford’s husband, Rob Silver, is a senior executive. The contract is worth $84 million.
Trudeau’s office said CMHC independently chose to go to MCAP. A spokesperson for CMHC told The Canadian Press this week that it “did not have the internal capacity to stand up the program in short...