Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a charity with ties to his family did not receive preferential treatment when it was awarded a contract to run a 900-million dollar program to provide grants to students this summer.
Testifying before the Commons Finance Committee, Trudeau said it was the public service that recommended the WE charity, after considering several other candidates, because it was the one that could deliver the program quickly.
Trudeau admits he should have removed himself from cabinet discussions when the issue was discussed, but adds he did nothing to influence the recommendation or the final decision.
The charity has paid his mother and brother 300-thousand dollars over the past four years for speaking at its events.
Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner for possible conflict of interest.