Canada’s embattled Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been wrapped up in controversy ever since his Liberal government’s proposed tax changes infuriated small business owners across the country.
Honest taxpayers felt an insinuation in those changes that suggested they were tax cheats, yet now it appears Morneau himself was exploiting government loopholes by shielding assets in numbered companies.
And the blows keep coming because it turns out his family-owned company, Morneau Shepell, has numerous agreements with the government.
If you can believe it, Morneau Shepell has numerous agreements with the government.
A search of this government website that reports contracts over $10,000 shows that Bill Morneau’s family business has a contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for over $9 million!
The site also shows that Morneau Shepell has been awarded nine new contracts since the Liberals came into office.
These are from agencies and ministries like the Privy Council Office, Canada Revenue, Public Services and Procurement and Natural Resources Canada totalling close to $2 million.
That includes a multi-year contract with the Treasury Board of Canada for just over $19,000 dollars! That’s a board he’s a member of!
These revelations follow a story the Sun’s Candice Malcolm broke related to Morneau Shepell’s $8 million contract with the Bank of Canada.
As Finance Minister, Morneau has direct regulatory control over that institution and federal laws and ethics guidelines restrict cabinet ministers from profiting from their decision making, so this raises even more ethics questions. To be fair, Morneau received approval from the Ethics Commissioner to conceal his assets, but our leaders should be held to higher standards.
Ultimately, Morneau agrees he had no choice but to divest his million shares in Morneau Shepell and set up a blind trust, but is he breaking the rules?
At the very least, he’s exploiting loopholes and profiting off of taxpayers.
Morneau Shepell has been scoring millions of dollars worth of government contracts for years, so convincing Canadians to trust Morneau will be a tough sell for the Liberals.
I reached out to both Morneau Shepell and the government for comment about the contracts but haven’t heard back from either at this time.