Canadian ethics chief partially dismisses probe of ex-finance Minister Morneau
Ottawa/Sputnik: Canada's Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion partially dismissed the conflict of interest investigation into former Finance Minister Bill Morneau's relationship with the WE Charity, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner said.
"I can confirm that Commissioner Dion did inform former Finance Minister Bill Morneau yesterday that some of the allegations in his examination were discontinued," Office of the Ethics Commissioner spokesperson Maha Achkar said in an email on Thursday.
The spokesperson said the Office of the Ethics Commissioner cannot comment further, saying that other parts of the investigation are ongoing.
Earlier on Thursday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported that Dion cleared Morneau of wrongdoing relating to a $30,830 previously uncovered expense tab – incurred by the former minister during family trips to participate in the charity's projects abroad – that was closed on the day of his testimony before the parliamentary Finance Committee.
"I accept that you genuinely believed you had paid for the entire cost of both trips, including the portion of the trip that involved the use of non-commercial chartered aircraft," Dion said in a letter to Morneau, as quoted by the CBC.
Morneau remains under investigation for failing to recuse himself from the decision to award the WE Charity a $670-million sole-source contract to administer a government-sponsored student volunteer program.
Morneau, who faced mounting backlash, resigned as minister and parliamentarian on August 17.
The investigation is the third against Morneau during his five years in office. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also the subject of a conflict of interest probe into his relationship with the WE Charity – also his third during his five years in office.