Resigned but angry, Canadians are paying attention to the WE scandal

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

July 24, 2020 – In this year especially, reflect for a moment on the corruption of a pronoun once best associated with unity. We are all in this together. We will get through these trying times. We are here for each other. For the Trudeau government, the WE Charity scandal has another connotation: We really, still, after everything, can’t seem to grasp the concept of ethics.

As with the SNC-Lavalin affair before it, the steady drip drip drip of questions, revelations and apologies associated with the awarding of a massive contract to operate an even more massive student grant program to an organization that boasted tight ties to the families of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is the political equivalent of water torture. And once again, the Liberals are looking vulnerable as they slog through another mess of their own making.

That this latest ignominy comes to light in the middle of a summer in a year dominated by the worst crisis of our times might have provided some political protection for this minority government. Canadians have been literally exhausted by the economic, physiological and emotional effects of COVID-19. If ever we have earned a time to lie in hammocks, read books and nap, it is now.

But data soon to be released by the Angus Reid Institute will show the majority of Canadians engaged on the WE issue – taking little time to form their own judgments about what happened. Most say the issue is serious, as opposed to overblown. A plurality, including most who cast ballots for the Liberals in the last election, are inclined to cast the decision to award that contract to WE as unethical, not a mere error in judgment.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.


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