OTTAWA — If repetition is the mother of skill, one political science professor suggests it’s unclear what the prime minister has learned about conflict of interest while in public office.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could face up to three hours of grilling in the House of Commons finance committee Thursday to answer questions about his family links to WE Charity and the decision to tap the organization to run a $912-million student volunteer grant program. The deal has since been cancelled.
Allan Tupper, political science professor at the University of British Columbia, said one of the lingering questions about this latest ethics controversy is about the prime minister’s grasp of fundamental rules.
“Mr. Trudeau doesn’t seem to understand basic conflicts of interests,” Tupper told HuffPost Canada.
Tupper referenced Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s own personal connections to the organization — flags that spurred the federal ethics commissioner to launch and expand on Wednesday an investigation into the cabinet minister’s perceived conflict of interest.
Morneau’s two daughters have been involved with the charity. One daughter spoke at events as an unpaid speaker, and his other daughter currently works on contract with the organization until the end of August.
His family also donated $100,000 to the charity since 2018 and received free travel to visit the organization’s school projects in Kenya and Ecuador.
Watch: Accepting Ottawa’s student-volunteer program was a mistake, the Kielburgers say. Story continues below.
This is Morneau’s second federal ethics investigation. Trudeau is facing his third.
The repetition of ethics probes smacks of déjà vu for Tupper. “I mean, what’s going on, how many times do we have to go through things like...