Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his advisers preferred to “score political points” when it was time to put in place pandemic aid policies, said former federal finance minister Bill Morneau. in an interview with "CTV News" on Sunday.
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During this interview, the former MP for Toronto Center revealed new details about his stormy relationship with the Prime Minister of Canada.
Mr. Morneau thus revealed certain parts of his book, “Where do we go from here: a path to Canadian prosperity” which will be published on January 17, 2023, on the reasons which led him to resign from his position as minister and deputy, in August 2020.
"It's become unsustainable," Morneau said of the move, which came six months after the federal government's COVID-19 aid was rolled out and in the midst of the WE Charity controversy.
“The differences of opinion, they led us to reflect on our ability to work together. So, whether it was a leak or this difference in vision, I think the conclusion was inevitable and it was time to move on, ”he said.
So while Trudeau and his team made the decisions they felt were best for Canadians, Morneau believes it all should have been done differently.
He explains that for him, the government was more concerned with how things were perceived rather than the policy itself.
In his book, he writes that he was impressed by the number of hasty political decisions made at the start of the pandemic, according to CTV News.
The former finance minister begins his book with a chapter called "Conversation in an Empty Room", in which he details the conversation he had at Rideau Hall with the Prime Minister in the summer of 2020 when he told him that he would leave.
He writes that it was one of the “very rare” times the pair were able to talk privately without any other advisers in the room.
In the interview, "CTV News" also asked Morneau if he regretted his handling of the WE Charity case.
Recall that Mr. Morneau revealed that he had reimbursed $41,000 to the charity for travel expenses, just hours before testifying before a parliamentary committee on his role in this affair. The former minister, one of whose daughters works for WE Charity, had failed to withdraw from the discussions that led to the granting of a private contract to the organization for the management of a scholarship program for student volunteering.
"I wish I had done things differently," he said. There was a lot going on, but we can always do better.”
No return to politics?
When asked if he would consider returning to politics, Morneau remained evasive.
“Let me say that I really enjoyed my tenure. It's exciting to be at the center of what's happening in the country. But more importantly, it's really meaningful to be able to have a big impact on the country. [...] Politics is a matter of timing. And I think now is the time for me to be back in the private sector,” he replied.