The House of Commons ethics committee has unanimously voted to bring WE Charity co−founders Craig and Marc Kielburger to Parliament for a testimony.
After the two declined requests to do so last week, MPs across all of Canada's parties have expressed concerns. A summons to compel one's presence before a parliamentary committee carries legal weight, much like a court; the brothers will have until Friday to appear in Ottawa.
“If the witness disobeys the order, the witness may be declared guilty of contempt,” the House manual says.
WE Charity lawyer William McDowell has reported that the Kielburgers will accept the summons, but they intend to be accompanied by counsel. However, they refuse to comment on allegations of dubious donor recognition practices brought forward by NDP MP Charlie Angus to the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency
The controversy focuses on the Liberal government’s — and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family’s — close ties to WE Charity. Ottawa outsourced a $912-million grant to the charity last summer before it pulled out of the deal.