Bill Morneau, Federal Minister of Finance, Resigns

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

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Today, Bill Morneau announced that he is resigning as Minister of Finance and as the MP for Toronto Centre (1). The resignation comes a little over a month after an ethics investigation was launched into conflicts of interest that Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had regarding WE Charity: an organization that was tasked with administering the $900 million dollar Canada Student Service Grant (2). Morneau was first elected to Toronto Centre in 2015 and was named Minister of Finance shortly thereafter (3).


Opposition parties have been calling on Morneau to resign since July 22nd, when the (now former) minister testified that he had only repaid $41,366 worth of travel expenses originally covered by WE that morning (4). However, the Government and the Liberal Party both originally stood by Morneau (4). It is thought that Morneau’s resignation came about as a result of a disagreement with the Prime Minister regarding Covid-19 relief spending, where it was reported that Morneau and his colleagues at the Finance Department had been hesitant about the massive federal deficit (predicted at $343.2 billion dollars (5)) that was required for relief spending as well as environmental projects that the Prime Minister is prioritizing in that spending (6). However, Morneau himself said that the Prime Minister did not fire him and that his resignation was entirely voluntary (1).


Morneau has now declared his candidacy to become Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is fully supported by the Prime Minister (1).

References:

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9uWLSpApI8

(2) https://globalnews.ca/news/7227035/kielburger-brothers-explainer/

(3) https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/finance-minister-bill-morneau-resigns-will-not-seek-re-election-1.5068128

(4) https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ministers-back-morneau-as-opposition-calls-for-his-resignation-over-we-payment-revelations-1.5035809

(5) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bill-morneau-fiscal-update-budget-deficit-1.5641864

(6) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-morneau-clash-1.5688776

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