(Ottawa) The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of Canada is still considering whether it is within its mandate to investigate the management of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation regarding the receipt of two donations with possible links to the Chinese government.
The foundation’s interim chairman of the board wrote to the OAG last week, saying the organization would welcome an investigation by Auditor General Karen Hogan into donations made in 2016 and 2017 that totaled $140,000.
Last week, board members and the foundation’s CEO, Pascale Fournier, resigned, over what was described as the politicization of a donation from Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin and another man. Chinese businessman, Niu Gensheng.
“In these circumstances, the foundation would like the Auditor General of Canada to conduct an investigation into all aspects of the receipt and processing of these donations by the foundation,” said Edward Johnson, interim chair of the board of trustees, in a statement. letter dated last Friday.
The Bloc Québécois has also asked the Auditor General of Canada to diligently investigate the recent revelations concerning the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
Johnson noted that when the foundation was originally created to honor the legacy of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 2002, it received $125 million from the federal government for seed money. .
A spokesperson for the foundation said the organization believes it is subject to audits by the Auditor General, but Hogan’s office said the review is ongoing on this.
“We are still evaluating the mandate of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada in this matter,” a spokesperson said.
Asked if the AG’s office has the authority to investigate private donations, the spokesperson added, “That’s part of the assessment.”
According to the AG’s office website, the AG investigates the activities of federal government departments and agencies, crown corporations, and the nation’s three territorial governments and their agencies.
You can also read what is outside of its role or mandate. This includes requests to review political decisions or intervene in disagreements between individuals and governments, banks or corporations.