Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'll start with you, Ms. Krause. Boy, from what we've heard so far, it just sounds like such a swamp and a quagmire it's hard to see through it all. I just don't know that we'll get to the bottom of it, actually, through these committee meetings, at the end of the day.
Canadians at the very least deserve that their government respects their taxpayers' dollars. With WE it appears we have a situation where it was in breach of its obligations to its bankers. This was all information that was available. I saw the 2018 financial statement on their website. It was public information. Anyone in the public service could have seen it. That alone should have pre-empted the awarding of this contract. The company's under financial duress. There are loans that need to be repaid. Virtually their entire board just resigned. That alone should have pre-empted the awarding of this agreement. The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance had obvious conflicts of interest. That alone should have pre-empted the awarding of this agreement. WE is not even a registered lobbyist and yet had major access to high-up government officials. That is a huge red flag.
Craig Kielburger is a member of the Leaders’ Debates Commission at the same time as he's putting out campaign-style ads featuring the Prime Minister. I don't even know how to describe that. It just seems like such a huge conflict. Again, that alone should have pre-empted the awarding of this contract. The relationship between the government and the Kielburgers was so close it was bound to raise questions about an almost billion-dollar program being turned over to them. Any neutral observer of these facts, and these aren't all of the facts, would have to come to the conclusion that this is just not an honest use of taxpayers' dollars.
My preamble was quite lengthy, but I wanted to give you a little more time. You said in your opening statement that you could use a little more time.
Why would the government do this? They must have recognized all of these red flags. What would be any other reason that they would actually plow ahead and do this?