Evidence of meeting #12 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was charity.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Ian Shugart  Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Privy Council Office
Gina Wilson  Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Department of Canadian Heritage
Benoît Robidoux  Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Employment and Social Development
Mary Dawson  As an Individual

3 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Do you know, Madam Minister?

Madam Chair, I would prefer an answer from the minister.

We will be able to hear from your deputy afterwards, Madam Minister. What checks did you do personally?

3 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Madam Chair, I know that the member does not have a lot of time to ask questions. I want him to get the information that assures him that all the work was done. It is important to give the member a few moments in order to provide that information and to make sure that he has it.

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Do not waste time telling me all that, Madam Minister, I know it already. With all respect, I am aware of that.

I want to know whether you personally were aware of any vetting of the We Charity Foundation. Yes or no.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Madam Chair, I can tell you that, as was shared at the finance committee, numerous conversations took place. Yes, concerns were raised to ensure that due diligence was done. I know that the public service, the professional and non-partisan public service, works really hard. I have confidence that they did that work. That's why—

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

That was not my question. We are not in the House.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

—the deputy can actually provide concrete examples of the information that the member is looking for. I think it's important that the deputy be able to provide those details, if the member would like.

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Madam Chair, I just have a few minutes. Can you ask the minister to stop? My speaking time is running out.

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

It's your question.

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Excuse me, Madam Minister.

We have a delay in the interpretation and we have the delay you are causing, Madam Minister, by explaining to us all kinds of things that are not relevant to the issue. I do not have a lot of time.

Since you have told me that you do not know, I would like to hear from your deputy now. What due diligence into WE Charity was done?

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Madam Chair, the public service signs numerous contribution agreements in any given year. They are—

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

A point of order, Madam Chair.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

—a professional public service that does their due diligence—

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Madam Chair, you told us earlier that questions and answers would be about the same length. We are wasting our time.

I asked the deputy for an answer.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

—and that's why it is important that the public service—

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

Excuse me, Minister.

Mr. Fortin, I am happy to call on you, but there is an order. I have to ask the minister to stop and then you have the floor.

Mr. Fortin, proceed.

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Madam Chagger, I do not want to rush you, but we do not have a lot of time. I have your answer and I thank you for it.

Now I would like to hear your deputy's answer to the same question. Is that possible or do you prefer her not to answer?

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

Mr. Fortin, I'm sorry; the time is up.

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

The time is not over.

I am sorry.

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

The time is up.

August 11th, 2020 / 3:05 p.m.

Gina Wilson Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Department of Canadian Heritage

Thank you very much. I'm happy to provide you with that information.

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

Deputy Minister, I'm sorry, but the floor is not yours.

3:05 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Department of Canadian Heritage

Gina Wilson

In every agreement, there are risk mitigation clauses and controls. There are financial checks done—

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

Deputy Minister, please stop.

3:05 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Department of Canadian Heritage

Gina Wilson

Okay. I'm sorry.

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rachael Harder

Thank you.