Canada’s ethics committee voted not to hear whistleblower testimony on insider dealing within a green ‘slush fund’ and conceal federal corruption.
Under its current agreement with the Department of Industry, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) had $1 billion to distribute to clean tech enterprises between 2021 and 2026 — increasing in successive amounts before maxing at $320 million by 2025/26.
However, a September 26 Fact Finding Exercise Report commissioned by the department said agency directors “did not recuse themselves” in distributing $38.4 million worth of subsidies to corporate friends, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
Foundation Chair Annette Verschuren told MPs she voted to give her company NRStor Inc. a $217,000 grant in 2020 in the form of two COVID-relief payments.
“If that is not a conflict of interest, if that is not corruption, then nothing is,” said Conservative MP Michael Barrett.
Cabinet then froze all federal funding to the foundation on October 4.
Foundation CEO Leah Lawrence resigned on November 10, followed by Verschuren ten days later.
The former claimed a “sustained and malicious campaign” by a whistleblower contributed to her resignation after a source within the SDTC filed a complaint with the federal government on alleged misconduct.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Barrett asked the ethics committee to invite the whistleblower to identify SDTC wrongdoings and provide their testimony. However, Liberal and NDP MPs dismissed the motion by a 6 to 4 vote.
“The committee voted to silence a whistleblower,” said Barrett. “I can’t abide that.”
“Whistleblowers are the only reason Canadians know this happened,” he added, claiming the feds are “more interested in covering up their own corruption” than allowing Canadians to hold them accountable.
“What we know is not because of due diligence from the government,” said Barrett. “What we know is from a whistleblower kicking at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. That is why we know what we know.”