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Bill Morneau.


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December 1, 2017 8:34 pm Updated: December 1, 2017 10:08 pm
Ethics watchdog wants to talk to Bill Morneau about his 2015 stock trades
 By David Akin
Chief Political Correspondent     Global News

Questions keep swirling about finance minister Bill Morneau's shares in his family business, Morneau Shepell. As David Akin reports, the opposition continues to demand answers.
The House of Commons conflict-of-interest and ethics watchdog wants to know more about Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2015 $10-million stock sale, a sale made days before the Trudeau government tabled documents in the House of Commons detailing a major new tax policy.

Mary Dawson, the Conflict-of-Interest and Ethics Commissioner, is not ready to open a formal investigation into Morneau’s Nov. 30 sale of 680,000 Morneau Shepell Inc. shares but she tells NDP MP Nathan Cullen in a letter obtained by Global News that “in light of the allegations, my office will look further into the matter and will followup with Minister Morneau in due course.”

Morneau’s chief spokesman, Dan Lauzon, said: “We have received the letter from the Commissioner and respect her diligence in following-up on complaints made by the Opposition, no matter how spurious. We will, of course, continue to work with her office to provide all the information necessary to support her work, and find it unfortunate that the Opposition is choosing to place her office at the centre of baseless partisan games.”

Dawson’s interest in Morneau’s Nov. 30 share sale is the latest headache for the embattled finance minister, who is already under investigation by Dawson’s office for a potential conflict-of-interest associated with his introduction of Bill C-27, a piece of pension reform legislation that would have opened up new business opportunities for Morneau Shepell Inc., the firm founded by Morneau’s family, which, among other things, helps employers manage pension plans.

READ MORE: Bill Morneau’s father sold 200K shares in family company days before tax changes announced

Earlier this fall, Dawson fined Morneau $200 after Morneau acknowledged he breached the law requiring that all office holders report their assets to Dawson’s office. Morneau, blaming an administrative oversight, forgot to report a holding company he controls that, among other things, owns his villa in France.

Cullen, reached by phone Friday night in the Yukon as he travelled back to his riding in northern British Columbia, was pleased that Dawson will make inquiries about Morneau’s share sale.

“He’s got very little credibility to say just trust me and have Canadians say, oh yeah, he’s been shown to be upright in all of his dealings,” Cullen said.
Morneau has been slow to answer opposition questions about his 2015 share sale but, on Thursday, told reporters that, after winning office in 2015, he directed his financial advisor to dispose of some shares.

“When I came into office I decided to sell shares in my family company and I gave direction to do that around the time I came into office. I can tell you right now I don’t know the exact date that I gave direction for that to happen. I didn’t follow the date that they actually sold. They were sold,” Morneau said.

Asked specifically if he told Dawson ahead of time about the sale of the shares, Morneau said he directed the shares be sold as he came into office “before working with the ethics commissioner.”

It is illegal for any minister to control shares in any company. After meeting with Dawson early in his mandate, Morneau  placed the shares he held in Morneau Shepell Inc. in a Alberta numbered company that he controls. Those shares generated a dividend for the finance minister of about $65,000 each and every month, until last month when Morneau decided to sell them all.u
Questions about sale of shares still dogging Bill Morneaur
NDP also mention Global News report on Bill Morneau’s fathers
Andrew Scheer continues questioning of Bill Morneau over sold shares
Andrew Scheer calls on Bill Morneau to resign
Are Bill Morneau’s days numbered?

Dawson, in her initial response to Cullen’s complaint, explained that one of the reasons she could not launch an investigation was because she was unclear which section of the Conflict of Interest Act Cullen believes Morneau violated when he sold 680,000 shares on Nov. 30, 2015, days before a Dec. 7, 2015 unveiling of the government’s proposed tax changes, changes which were to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Cullen, in a letter dated Dec. 1 and sent to Dawson’s office late Friday evening, said he believes Morneau has violated the section that says: “No public office holder shall use information that is obtained in his or her position as a public office holder and that is not available to the public to further or seek to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends or to improperly further or to seek to improperly further another person’s private interests.” https://globalnews.ca/news/3893089/ethics-watchdog-morneau-stock-trades/

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A little trivia I had forgotten about:

As if Morneau wasn’t wealthy enough from the family business, Morneau Shepell, he also has a financial cushion from his wife, an member of the McCain food empire!

So he can definitely relate to the middle class and those working hard to join it......funny, you don’t hear the libs using that tag line anymore

(although blaming Harper comes up on a daily basis).

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Looks like Trudeau found a scape goat  !:thumbup:


Bill Morneau to resign as finance minister, MP following breakdown in relations with Trudeau over COVID policy, WE scandal

His resignation comes only a few hours after a head-to-head meeting with Trudeau that morning. Both offices remained tightlipped about the meeting, which was confirmed by a senior government source.



Edited by Jaydee
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This is an indictment...to a government in the middle of a national crisis and the financial mess it’s created.

As an aside, one political pundit said the joke around Ottawa was the finance minister should have been:

More No instead of More Yes.

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The story should read "taking a knee for the boy king"

The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Bill Morneau resigns, plans to run for head of OECD

1 hour ago
image.png.e918b4ddc5a19828df928bf313eaeac4.pnga man wearing a suit and tie© Provided by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Bill Morneau is resigning as the federal minister of finance and a Liberal MP.

Morneau says he is putting his name forward as a candidate to be the next secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he accepted Morneau's resignation earlier Monday and that Canada would "vigorously support" his efforts to take on the new role.

Morneau has been finance minister since 2015, when the Liberals returned to power.

For several weeks, opposition parties have been calling for Morneau's resignation over allegations that he had a conflict of interest in the WE Charity affair.

Morneau and Trudeau are both facing investigations by the federal ethics watchdog.

The recent news that Mark Carney, a former governor of both the Bank of Canada and Bank of England, is helping to advise Trudeau on the post-pandemic economic recovery fuelled speculation that Morneau was about to be replaced. 

Last week, Trudeau tried to shut down speculation that his finance minister was on the way out, taking the unusual step of issuing a statement to say he had full confidence in Morneau and that reports of policy clashes between them were false.

On Monday, Trudeau's statement also highlighted the way they had worked together, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Every step of the way, Bill and I have worked closely together, along with our team of cabinet ministers and caucus members to help Canadians navigate this challenging time," Trudeau said.

"Our number one priority has been supporting Canadian families and businesses the best and fastest way possible. Thanks to his unwavering leadership and commitment to service through the pandemic, our government has laid the groundwork for a strong economic recovery."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Bill Morneau has been federal finance minister since 2016.

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Kelly McParland: Morneau’s weak excuse for quitting suggests he's finally lost confidence in Trudeau

Kelly McParland
58 mins ago
image.png.1dc62ff9c61fcfcf08a8d6fef56b49dc.pnga man wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.© Sean Kilpatrick Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft

In recent weeks, bad things began appearing in print about Bill Morneau. 

Canada’s finance minister had somehow missed a bill for $41,000 for trips hosted by the WE charity, and had neglected to mention the fact until appearing before a Commons committee looking into WE and its ties to the government. He had also failed to recuse himself from cabinet decisions related to WE, despite the unpaid trips and the fact that his daughter worked for the WE organization.

Soon after, word began filtering out from Ottawa that the prime minister was less than enthralled with Morneau. Someone in a position to know whispered that Justin Trudeau was talking quietly to former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, who was back in the country after heading the Bank of England and reportedly keen on lending a hand to getting Canada’s economy back on track after the COVID-19 crisis.

No, no, no, Trudeau insisted when the whispers grew too loud to ignore. He had “full confidence” in Morneau, “and any statement to the contrary is false.”

Which, if true, leads one to surmise that it’s Morneau who no longer has confidence in the prime minister, and the absence of that confidence spurred his sudden decision to quit the government Monday night, and resign his seat, after a one-on-one session with Trudeau earlier in the day that clearly didn’t go well.

That’s bad news for Trudeau. He looked decidedly careless in his handling of the WE debacle: a prime minister too out of touch to stop a billion-dollar contract going to a favoured charity that had sent healthy payments to his mother and brother, and too blind to ethics concerns to recuse himself from the decision-making process. Now his finance minister, the one that’s been overseeing the vast spending program instituted to deal with the pandemic fallout, concludes he can’t think of a reason good enough to stick around now that the tough part of the program is about to begin.

Morneau wasn’t about to admit as much when he announced his departure Monday night.  It  s never been my plan to run for more than two federal election cycles,” he said, announcing he plans to seek a top job with the OECD. “I’ll be spending the next few weeks preparing for this bid.”

It’s not much of a face-saver, as these things go. The Liberals, with Morneau, were just re-elected 10 months ago, which makes it odd to quit at the moment when, in Morneau’s words, there’s a “long and challenging road ahead.” What particular aspect of  the transition to recovery” makes it “the right time for a new finance minister to deliver on that plan,” as Morneau put it? Noting that  I want to continue to serve,” Morneau might have explained why, just as Canada must come to grips with what he properly called “a long and uncertain recovery,” he decided he could best contribute by applying for a post at the OECD?

Morneau has served Trudeau for five years and evidently wants to play the loyal soldier to the end. But Ottawa is a land of leaks, and leakers for both camps have been setting out their case for days now. On Trudeau’s side we’re told the prime minister is keen to seize on the pandemic to remake Canada in bold new ways, which means borrowing and spending even more billions to finance initiatives on a host of ambitious social and green programs. Morneau’s camp responded by telling the CBC, anonymously of course, that the finance minister wasn’t keen on epic new expenditures, didn’t want his legacy to be one of swollen, never-ending deficits, and had concerns about Trudeau’s new vision.

“The idea of greening the economy just by spending money on every project you have in front of you is not really serious,” one Morneau sympathizer groused .

Canadians are now left to assess what appears to be yet another in the long list of self-induced crises this government seems incapable of avoiding. If Morneau doesn’t have confidence in Trudeau’s urge to remake the country, should other Canadians? If the changes are to be so far-reaching they make the finance minister nervous, can the Liberal government possibly consider introducing them without seeking a new mandate? This is a finance minister, remember, who willingly signed off on repeated deficits many times greater than the limited borrowing pledged in the 2015 election where the Liberals were first elected, and found he could live with another $343 billion in borrowing for the COVID response. If he’s feeling antsy about the sums that could be needed for a brave new Liberal world of elevated social spending, those sums must be huge indeed.

Trudeau has reason to be upset that Morneau failed to mention his WE links, to recall the $41,000 in travel costs or to recuse himself from WE decisions. But Trudeau made similar mistakes: he didn’t recuse himself either, didn’t act firmly enough over payments to his relatives, and let the controversy grow for far too long, to the point where he was forced to appear personally before Commons questioners to try and halt the damage. He’s facing his third investigation for ethics transgressions, having been faulted on the first two. With a record like that, trying to lay the blame on Morneau for clumsiness recalls the same efforts by Trudeau aides to tar the image of former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould in the days before she too quit the government, after trying without success to make her case to Trudeau, who never did seem to grasp her point.

Morneau moved up a steep learning curve in his years in Ottawa. He became skilled at the art of talking his way around questions, of avoiding anything that might be mistaken for candour. Asked by a reporter whether his meeting with the prime minister before he quit involved any serious policy differences with Trudeau, Morneau replied:  “We both recognized the necessary, vigorous debate that comes between a finance minister and a prime minister… that’s the way you get to better policy outcomes.”

So, in the outgoing finance minister’s view, quitting the job halfway through is the best way to contribute to the great challenge he sees lying ahead.

It seems an unlikely story, but it’s not the first one this government has expected us to swallow.

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and from the 


Bill Morneau: Canada finance minister quits amid charity probe

  • 18 August 2020
Canada"s Minister of Finance Bill Morneau attends a news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 11, 2020Image copyrightREUTERS

Canada's finance minister has said he will resign after conflict-of-interest allegations involving WE Charity.

Bill Morneau has faced pressure to step down after it was revealed he did not repay travel costs covered by WE while on overseas trips to see its work.

He said he recently realised he had not repaid the C$41,000 in expenses and has since written a cheque.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also facing scrutiny for his and his family's involvement with the charity.

Mr Morneau said he will step down from his position in the Liberal party cabinet and his role as member of parliament for his Ontario riding, Toronto Centre.

What did the finance minister say?

Addressing the media on Monday, Mr Morneau said he was no longer the "appropriate person" for his role in Mr Trudeau's cabinet, but said the WE scandal did not prompt his decision to resign.

"I met with the prime minister today to inform him that I did not plan to run again in the next election," he told reporters. "It has never been my plan to run for more than two federal election cycles."

The finance minister said his successor should have a "longer term perspective" as Canada tackles its economic recovery amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Morneau has served in the Trudeau government since the prime minister was first elected in 2015.

The prime minister thanked Mr Morneau for his "unwavering leadership and commitment to service" as well as his "advice, and close friendship" throughout his tenure.

And the political reaction?

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh said: "Canadians need a government that is focused on helping them, not on their own scandals. In the middle of a financial crisis, Justin Trudeau has lost his finance minister.

"Every time he gets caught breaking ethics laws, he makes someone else take the heat. That's not leadership."

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer accused Mr Trudeau of scapegoating his finance minister and said the government was in chaos.

What next?

It was reported last week that Mr Trudeau had asked former Bank of England and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to be an informal adviser on the Covid-19 recovery plan.

Mr Carney has previously been touted as a future Liberal party leadership contender.

Meetings between Mr Carney and the prime minister fuelled reports that Mr Trudeau had plans to fire Mr Morneau.

But Mr Morneau on Monday refuted such speculation, denying that Mr Trudeau had asked him to resign.

Canada's finance minister says he has plans to put in a bid to be the next secretary general for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - a move he says is supported by the prime minister.

What is the WE Charity scandal?

In June, Canada announced it had tapped WE Charity - widely known for its celebrity studded WE Day conferences - to run a new programme for students hard hit by the economic downturn following the Covid-19 outbreak.

WE Charity Canada would have received up to $43.5m to manage the programme under that agreement.

But it soon emerged that both Mr Trudeau and Mr Morneau had been personally involved in the charity.

Two of the finance minister's daughters are associated with the organisation, one of them as an employee.

The more than C$40,000 bill - unpaid until this summer - came from two humanitarian trips taken by Mr Morneau and his family to Kenya and Ecuador, where WE does overseas work.

"I wish that, in hindsight, that we had done things differently around the WE Charity," Mr Morneau said on Monday, adding that he should have recused himself from discussions related to the grant program.

The prime minister is still facing criticism following the news that members of his family had been paid for speaking at various WE events over the years.

WE has withdrawn from the federal programme early this month because it had been "enmeshed in controversy from the moment of its announcement", the organisation said.

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