Mr. Chair, there are obviously a lot of questions surrounding this controversy. The Prime Minister's family has received over $500,000 from the WE group, almost all of it since he became Prime Minister. He has admitted that he should have recused himself, an omission that will almost certainly be accompanied by a conviction by the Ethics Commissioner. The same group received a contribution agreement worth $543 million, of which $43 million was to go to the organization's expenses. The obvious conflicts related to this matter have led to the entire thing being cancelled.
This is a case where a half a million dollars went from WE to the Prime Minister's family, and then half a billion dollars was going to go from the Prime Minister's government back to WE. There are myriad meetings, conversations and discussions and exchanges that led to the creation of this bizarre program, and we need to know who met who whom and what deliberations occurred that led to the decision.
The organization in question is now coming under scrutiny for extremely unusual developments in its Kenya office. The Prime Minister needs to indicate what he knows about those developments. We also have learned that the organization is linked, through its principals, to a myriad of numbered companies, for-profit enterprises, foundations and real estate holding entities, all of which are involved in a series of strange relationships with the principal entity. Finally, we've learned that the contribution agreement was directed not to the principal charity but to a real estate holding foundation, a shell entity, that was created for the purpose of nothing more than holding real estate.
These are extremely complicated issues, Chair, and we can't simply slough them aside with 10 minutes of questioning by each party. Most parties under the current plan that you've created without consultation would get less than 10 minutes to ask questions, and that does not include the time the Prime Minister has to answer them. Furthermore, yesterday you displayed that you are going to interfere with members' ability to keep the witnesses focused on the questions asked and that you're going to allow witnesses to basically give rambling speeches unrelated to the questions asked, which will further burn down the clock and prevent the Prime Minister from providing any answers.
I will conclude by saying that if the Prime Minister doesn't answer the questions, then he's going to be called again. This time it would probably be through a vote of the House of Commons, and it would probably mean that he would end up before another committee with an objective chair, who would preside over the meeting without jumping in to rescue the witness. It's in the Prime Minister's interest to just come and give fulsome and complete testimony now rather than trying to come in and put on a dramatic performance and hide behind a favourable Chair and sneak out the back door before anyone gets answers. Do it once, do it right, because if you don't you'll be back doing it again.