Canadian Finance minister Bill Morneau offered his resignation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. His position was said to be under pressure when he said “forgot” to pay back a wrongful travel allowance of over 41,000 Canadian dollars (over 26,000 euros).
57-year-old Morneau had received the travel allowance from charity WE Charity, which was awarded a government program. It would involve two trips for the foundation to Kenya and Ecuador.
WE Charity is closely associated with Prime Minister Trudeau’s family and currently plays a leading role in an investigation into possible conflict of interest by the government.
Morneau has been minister of Finance since the Liberal government of Trudeau came to power in 2015. Morneau says he’s no longer the right person for the job. He added that the scandal surrounding US Charity was not the main reason for his resignation.
There have been reports for a long time that the relationship between Morneau and Trudeau is somewhat at a standstill. The two would disagree on how to restore the Canadian economy after the coronavirus. According to the resigned minister, Trudeau needs someone who has a long-term vision.
Trudeau wants an ambitious budget to tackle climate problems. Canada is largely dependent on fossil fuel extraction, but Trudeau wants to strip this sector.
Canada’s economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus. The government deficit has reached over USD 342 billion, the largest deficit since the end of the Second World War. Canada has allocated over 14% of gross domestic product (GDP) to provide financial support to its inhabitants during the pandemic.
It is not yet known who will succeed Morneau.
There is still an ongoing investigation into possible conflict of interest by Trudeau in the WE Charity scandal.
The call for tenders caused a fuss in Canada. The Trudeau family is not unknown to the organization; the prime minister and his mother have appeared several times at events of our Charity and Trudeau’s wife Sophie is participating in a podcast from the charity.
It’s not the first time Trudeau’s been compromised because of possible conflict of interest. In 2017, the commissioner of Ethics began an investigation into the Prime Minister’s holiday on a private island of a billionaire.