OTTAWA — Opposition members on Thursday accused the Liberal government of blatant partisan manoeuvring when it prorogued Parliament last summer, in what one MP said showed a “toxic disdain for democracy” by the prime minister.
Liberal, Conservative and NDP members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs debated whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was justified in his decision to shut down Parliament for five weeks this summer, just as his government was reeling from the WE scandal.
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Opposition members at the time blasted the move as undemocratic, saying it kneecapped the critical work of several committees that were studying the prime minister’s role in the controversy.
The scandal emerged after Trudeau had reportedly failed to recuse himself from the Liberal government’s decision to award a $912-million contract to WE Charity to administer a student benefit program. Trudeau and some of his family members, including wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, had earlier been paid for several public speaking engagements on behalf of the charity, and maintained close relationships with its founders.