Jul 13, 2020

By Bob Komsic

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”I made a mistake in not recusing myself.  I am sorry.”
With those words, Justin Trudeau made his first public statement about the controversial decision to award a nearly $1-billion contract to WE Charity after word family members were paid for speaking appearances.
The prime minister also says he should never have been part of the cabinet discussions given his family’s close ties to the charity.
His mother and brother were paid by WE and its entities for speeches at events the last four years.
Trudeau says he knew they were employed as public speakers but did not know how much they were paid.
”I deeply regret that I have brought my mother into this situation.  It’s unfair to her, and I should have been thoughtful enough to recuse myself from this situation,” the prime minister said.
Trudeau repeated the public service first recommended WE as the best choice for the contract given its reach and experience, but the prime minister says he still should have known that his involvement in talks to award the contract would be a problem.
”When it came to this organization and this program, the involvement that I had in the past, and that my family has, should have had me remove myself from these discussions and I’m sorry that I didn’t,” he added.
Trudeau says he particularly sorry the delay in the program caused by WE’s decision to pull out will harm students looking for ways to help during the pandemic
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