Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
I want to say that the motion that we are currently functioning under, the original finance motion, says that as part of our study on COVID-19, we will hold hearings in July 2020, for no less than four meetings, for a duration of three hours each, to examine how much the government spent in awarding the $912 million, sole-source contract to WE Charity and how the outsourcing of the Canada student service grant to WE Charity proceeded as far as it did, and that the committee will produce a report of its findings to be tabled in the House of Commons.:
Then there was a list of witnesses.
That was our mandate, but now it's starting to feel, with this additional motion—I'm like Mr. Fraser, and I need to see it in front of me to really absorb it—as though it's an investigation into the Kielburgers or an investigation into the WE foundation. I feel as though we're now starting to get away from what we were mandated to do, which is to examine how much money we spent on this, whether there was financial mismanagement, and how we reached this decision. In other words, was there any funny business in how we actually reached this decision?
There is a ton of data coming our way, and I want to thank the clerk so much for reading that slowly and very accurately. Thank you for that.
I'd also like to remind everybody that every single witness from whom we have asked for additional information has indicated absolutely that they would forward the information, so I'm starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable about what exactly we are asking for at this point.
I also want to respond to Mr. Poilievre's statement that we are implying that there was no involvement by the Prime Minister or by any of the ministers in directing our civil servants to actually select WE.
What I'd like to put on the record is that it's actually our public service that has clearly articulated that it was they who actually suggested and put forward WE Charity as the recommendation and the selection to deliver the CSSG program, based on the limited amount of time they had to come up with a group to be able to deliver it. We had that confirmed by our Clerk of the Privy Council, Ian Shugart. We have also had that confirmed by Gina Wilson, our senior associate deputy minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth, and it was stated by our senior assistant deputy minister of the skills and employment branch, Rachel Wernick. There is zero evidence of anything to the contrary that we have heard so far, any evidence that any minister, any prime minister, or anybody within our cabinet might have directed any public servant to actually select only WE Charity as the charity to deliver the Canada student service grant.
Quite honestly, Mr. Chair, I am not understanding the value of this additional information. Maybe I do not have an issue. Maybe I need to look at the statement of what is being proposed, but it just feels as though we're starting to move into something more personal, away from what our original intention was before this committee in terms of investigating the financial spending on this contribution agreement as well as how the decision to select WE Charity to deliver the Canada student service grant actually transpired.
Those are my comments for the moment, Mr. Chair.