Prorogation, a manoeuvre that ends a parliamentary session, shuts down the House of Commons committees investigating the WE charity controversy as well as removes legislation currently on parliament’s order paper, giving Trudeau’s Liberals a chance at a fresh start.
CBC News reports that Trudeau sought approval from Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, who will deliver the speech from the throne on Sept. 23, the same day the House of Commons was previously scheduled to return.
Trudeau has said he was not involved when WE Charity was awarded a $43.53-million contract to administer a $900-million student grant program, but both he and Bill Morneau, who resigned Monday as Trudeau’s finance minister, are being investigated by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion.
Trudeau’s mother, Margaret Trudeau, was paid $250,000 for speaking at 28 WE events over four years, and brother Alexandre was paid $32,000 for speaking at eight between 2017-2018.
Morneau testified at the Standing Committee on Finance in July that he had recently repaid WE Charity $41,366 for expenses incurred by WE for trips his family took to Kenya and Ecuador in 2017.
If “controversy” balloons to “scandal” in the minds of enough Canadians, a vote of confidence in the House of Commons could bring down Trudeau’s minority government.
But so could prorogation.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet told CBC News the manoeuvre will mean Trudeau is exposing himself to a confidence vote in the House when MPs vote on the speech from the throne.
“If it does not contain what it must contain, he will simply not survive a vote on his speech from the throne,” Blanchet said.
With files from CBC News (