The Latest: Trudeau to testify on WE and student-volunteer program

OTTAWA — The latest developments on July 30, 2020, as Prime Minister is set to testify to the House of Commons finance committee about his government’s aborted deal with WE Charity to run a student-volunteer program. (All times Eastern.)

1:05 p.m.

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Prime Minister ’s chief of staff Katie Telford is now scheduled to testify for two hours, instead of one, at the House of Commons finance committee this afternoon.

Trudeau is still scheduled to appear for one hour.

On Wednesday evening, opposition MPs on the finance committee had voted to ask Trudeau to appear for at least three hours and Telford for at least two.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he wants Prime Minister to come clean about the events surrounding his government’s decision to award WE Charity a deal to run a student-volunteer program.

The Conservative leader says he expects Trudeau to explain why a program touted as having a $912-million budget was to spend far less, and why no other organization could have run the effort.

Speaking in Regina, he laid out the timeline of events that led to the Liberals’ handing WE the reins of a program aimed at giving grants to students whose summer work dried up due to the pandemic.

He adds there are unanswered questions about whether anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office spoke with WE to give the organization an inside track.

Trudeau is set to testify this afternoon at the House of Commons finance committee for one hour, although the opposition parties want him to speak for three.

Scheer says he hopes Trudeau provides direct answers and not talking points to run out the clock on his appearance, and that he stays for the full three hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2020.

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