Taxpayers paying to support Bill Morneau’s OECD secretary-general bid

The Liberal government has assigned 19 public sector workers to help former finance minister Bill Morneau campaign for the position of secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

According to Global Affairs Canada, the individuals working on Morneau’s campaign are doing so on a part-time basis to help provide “strategic policy advice, advocacy and support.” Among those allocated to Morneau’s team includes policy advisers, communications and media professionals, an assistant deputy minister and other employees. 

With regards to the final cost taxpayers will have to foot on Morneau, Global Affairs had little to offer in terms of estimates. So far, the campaign has cost Canadians $6,265.76 in hospitality fees. 

The new information was released by the department in response to a written question by Conservative MP Corey Tochor, who requested further information on the government resources spent on the OECD bid. 

“These expenses reflect standard diplomatic practices, including for such selection processes,” said Global Affairs Canada. 

“As is the case in campaigns for leadership positions in multilateral organizations, the government will provide diplomatic support, advocacy and strategic advice to advance Mr. Morneau’s candidacy. This support will be cost-effective and consistent with relevant Treasury Board guidelines and policies.”

Morneau resigned from cabinet and as an MP in the wake of the WE Charity scandal last summer. 

Morneau and Trudeau were both implicated in the scandal after reports emerged that the federal government awarded a sole-sourced contract worth $912 million to the organization despite personal ties with WE.

On the same day of Morneau’s resignation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would fully support Morneau’s OECD bid.

Earlier this year, Trudeau’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council fell flat on its face after Canada was skipped over for the two revolving seats. 

Recent reports reveal that the prime minister’s failed pursuit of the seat cost Canadian taxpayers $2.4 million. 

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