The former CEO of the Trudeau Foundation, Pascal Fournier, found the 2016 Chinese donation suspicious, sparking a controversy, and said he slammed the organization’s door in April after it was prevented from conducting its investigation according to its terms.
“It is foreign money. It is not Canadian money as written in the annual report from China. I think it misleads Canadians,” testified Ms.me Fournier before a parliamentary panel in Ottawa on Friday.
A full professor at the University of Ottawa’s law faculty, he explained that he began looking into the details of a $200,000 donation made publicly by two Chinese businessmen after an article appeared in a daily newspaper. The Globe and Mail In February.
The article said these donors were operating under the authority of the Chinese government and were intent on influencing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, according to intelligence sources. Duty No access.
The University of Montreal was actually the primary target of a $1 million donation from two wealthy Chinese businessmen, Zhang Bin and Niu Zhensheng, to honor Pierre Elliott Trudeau by funding scholarship courses. The film came as the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Foundation reached an agreement to use the former prime minister’s name.
The president and CEO of the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Foundation, who has been in office since July 2018, says he feels staff are not dealing directly with donors but with an organization close to the Chinese government. He says the Chinese Cultural Industry Association told him what information to make public about the donation before he took office.
“An association in China asked the foundation’s staff to record some information, [comme] Don’t put the address of the donors, please put the address in China,” the former CEO testified
Pascale Fournier also said the receipts issued for the first two installments of the donation of $70,000 each were not identical. In one of them, the names of the donors were not mentioned, but rather a company based in China. He criticized his predecessor, Morris Rosenberg, for publicly portraying the prize as wholly Canadian.
Ms says that the last installment of the donation was never received or claimed.me Fournier, the purpose of the donation to organize conferences on China was never fulfilled. Donors have never complained about it, which he says is “weird.”
A five-year contract of P.-d.-g. This year ends, but he says he signed a two-year renewal on the condition that he get answers to six questions about what he thinks is wrong with the trust in a confidential legal notice. She did not reveal what those issues were.
According to the former CEO’s version of the facts, a major conflict erupted within the board of directors of the Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Foundation, which hired an outside law firm to conduct its own investigation into the donation. With the help of other trustees, he called an emergency meeting and wanted to dismiss the board chairman and other officers present when the donation was received.
After intense controversy, the entire board of directors, including Pascal Fournier, resigned on Easter Monday, April 10.
“There was a breakdown in the bond of trust with the board members who were asked to step down,” explained the self-proclaimed “ethics expert”. It specifically targeted non-resigning members Edward Johnson, Bruce McNiven and Peter Zahlas.
Mme Fournier spoke of his lack of understanding to see the Prime Minister’s brother, Alexandre Trudeau, sign the donation agreement. According to him, the president must put his signature on all donations below $1 million, and Mr.
The foundation’s former number one also explained the difficulty in repaying the donation. “We tried several times to find the donor so he could pick up the check,” he said. Eventually the donation was returned after he left.
“We realize that the Trudeau Foundation is a bit confusing, we hide a lot of things from the president and the CEO, and the reasons why we hide them, I’m very interested,” commented Bloc Québécois MP René Villemure. When leaving the group.
“The first thing we remember is that Professor Fournier pointed out that there is no connection between the Foundation and the Prime Minister or his staff, and this is very important because people, some media or some political parties try to confuse the two,” he said. Liberal Quebec MP Greg Fergus is also a member of the committee.
Select members of the committee decided to call Edward Johnson, close to the Trudeau family, and the former president, who was asked to leave the scene, to testify before the committee. After the latter’s invitation to Alexandre Trudeau’s pages, they asked him to come next Wednesday to give his version of the facts. Duty. Morris Rosenberg is scheduled to appear Tuesday.
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