In a shocking turn of events, the entire board of directors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, including the President and CEO, have resigned following reports of a $200,000 donation linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This scandal has put immense pressure on the Foundation’s management and volunteer Board of Directors, staff, and community.
The Foundation confirmed in a press release that the resignation of all its board members was directly linked to “the political climate surrounding a donation received by the Foundation in 2016.”
The CCP-linked donation scandal surfaced last month, and the Foundation immediately announced its decision to return the money. The revelation came amid an increasing number of reports suggesting CCP interference in Canada’s last two federal elections, both of which saw Trudeau emerging as the winner.
The foundation acknowledges that three of its directors have agreed to “remain on an interim basis” to ensure that the Foundation can continue to fulfill its obligations, including those towards its Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows.
The resignation of the Foundation’s board has caught the attention of Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre, who has called for an investigation into potential corruption. Poilievre tweeted, “We need to investigate the Beijing-funded Trudeau Foundation. We need to know who got rich; who got paid and who got privilege and power from Justin Trudeau as a result of funding to the Trudeau Foundation.”
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001. However, recent reports suggest that Chinese donors with close connections to the CCP gave the Foundation a total of $1 million in exchange for having a statue of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and infamous Chinese dictator Mao Zedong erected in front of the University of Montreal. A University of Montreal spokesperson confirmed that such a statute was suggested, but the university ultimately decided against it.
The Globe and Mail also reported that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service intercepted conversations about the donation at the time, indicating that this scandal is just one aspect of the broader scandal brewing around Trudeau and the CCP.
Last month, Trudeau’s own MP Han Dong resigned from the Liberal Party after a news report alleged that he had asked a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 to delay the release of two Canadians held captive by the Communist Chinese regime.
Opposition parties, particularly the CPC, have been demanding a full independent public inquiry into the Chinese election meddling scandal. Instead, Trudeau appointed former Governor General David Johnston as an “independent special rapporteur” to investigate the allegations. Of note is that Johnston is a family friend of Trudeau and was listed prominently on the embattled foundation’s website at the time of being appointed “special rapporteur.” However, Johnston’s name has since been removed from the website.
In conclusion, the mass resignation of the board of directors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation highlights the need for transparency and accountability in the face of potential corruption. The Foundation’s scandal is just one aspect of the larger scandal brewing around Trudeau and the CCP. As Canada heads toward the next federal election, it is crucial to maintain the integrity of the democratic process and ensure that foreign interference does not influence the election outcome.
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