Nineteen public servants at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are engaged on a part-time foundation to assist former finance minister Bill Morneau’s marketing campaign to develop into the following secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in accordance with figures tabled within the House of Commons Friday.
In a written response to a query from Conservative Saskatchewan MP Corey Tochor about what number of authorities officers have been tasked with marketing campaign duties, GAC mentioned it has not but assigned anybody to work on Morneau’s bid on a full-time foundation however “as the lead department responsible for the relationship with the organization, a number of officials in the department and at the permanent delegation of Canada to the OECD are providing support.”
In addition to serving to run Morneau’s marketing campaign, the general public servants additionally will proceed with their “regular duties,” GAC mentioned.
The checklist of 19 staffers who’ve been assigned duties within the marketing campaign to elevate Morneau to the highest job on the OECD contains public servants working in communications and media relations, coverage advisers and analysts, diplomatic outreach and protocol officers, an assistant deputy minister chargeable for strategic coverage and numerous GAC employees who repeatedly liaise with the OECD, amongst others.
These officers will present Morneau with “strategic policy advice, advocacy and support,” “communications advice and support,” and “coordination of diplomatic outreach.”
Despite experiences of friction between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Morneau in the course of the summer time months over the WE Charity scandal, Trudeau has endorsed his former finance minister for the diplomatic put up, saying Canada would “vigorously support” Morneau’s candidacy.
No remaining price ticket but
OECD member international locations — largely western nations — will resolve in non-public who takes the job. The appointment can be introduced in March 2021.
Tochor additionally requested GAC how a lot Morneau’s bid for the place would price taxpayers. The division mentioned it does not but have any projections on a remaining price ticket.
Because the secretary-general choice course of is simply starting, “it is not yet possible to estimate the total costs that may be incurred to support Canada’s nominee,” GAC mentioned in its response to the order paper query. The division mentioned the pandemic might drive prices increased.
So far, the division mentioned, the marketing campaign has incurred $6,265.76 in hospitality prices as a part of the outreach to OECD member delegates and “other OECD-related representatives based in Paris.”
“These expenses reflect standard diplomatic practices, including for such selection processes,” the division mentioned.
“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.”
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, the minister chargeable for GAC, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In an October interview with CBC News, Morneau mentioned he had already travelled to Paris to fulfill with the delegates of the 38 member international locations.
It is just not uncommon for the federal authorities to cowl among the prices Canadians incur when operating for a prime worldwide place like this one.
The final Conservative authorities publicly threw its help behind former governor normal Michaëlle Jean’s bid to guide La Francophonie in 2014, selling her candidacy at conferences with different world leaders and hiring a diplomatic adviser to help her efforts.
At the time, Ottawa additionally lined the prices related to journeys Jean took to Asia, Europe and Africa as a part of the marketing campaign to develop into that group’s secretary normal.
She was profitable after that first marketing campaign, assuming management of the 88-member, largely French-speaking group in 2015, however misplaced re-election after a scandal over bills — together with prices related to a renovation of her Paris house.
Morneau resigned in August amid WE Charity probes
Morneau’s five-year tenure as finance minister abruptly led to August. He resigned whereas the Commons finance committee was within the midst of a deep dive into the Liberal authorities’s determination handy a multi-million-dollar summer time pupil grants contract to the WE Charity, a Toronto-based group that has since shuttered its Canadian operations in response to controversy over the contract and its company governance and actual property holdings.
WATCH: Morneau says he was eyeing OECD job earlier than WE controversy
Morneau got here below fireplace after it was revealed he didn’t recuse himself from cupboard talks concerning the contract, regardless of his household’s shut private ties to the WE group. At the time, Morneau’s daughter, Grace, labored at WE within the journey division. His different daughter, Clare, has spoken at WE Day occasions.
Morneau has apologized and the federal ethics commissioner is now investigating whether or not his determination to vote on the deal at cupboard breached the Conflict of Interest Act. Trudeau can be below investigation. Since 2016, Trudeau’s mom and brother have been paid some $300,000 for WE talking engagements.
Last month, Morneau informed CBC’s Rosemary Barton that, for a while, he is had his eye on the secretary-general place with the OECD, an intergovernmental company that promotes democracy and the market economic system. Morneau insisted he would have pitched himself for that job even when the WE Charity affair hadn’t erupted on his watch.
“Let me tell you, I was really thinking about the secretary-general of the OECD job before and I recognized you couldn’t be a sitting finance minister and run for a global position at the same time. That was my conclusion,” Morneau mentioned.