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Bill Kelly: WE fiasco didn’t have to happen this way

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau appear at the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa, Nov. 10, 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau appear at the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa, Nov. 10, 2015. Adrian Wyld/CP

With the past couple of ethics violations by the Liberal government, there were at least some attempts, as tenuous as they were, to explain away what the government had done. But with the latest fiasco involving WE Charity, the question we keep coming back to is, how could they have botched this so badly?

You don’t hand out a $900-million government contract without some kind of bidding process to allow everyone who is qualified to get a shot at the project.

Commentary: Canadians deserve answers on Prime Minister Trudeau’s ties to WE Charity

WE is not the only organization that is able to handle this student assistance program. Others have come forward and justifiably asked why they weren’t given a chance to bid.

But even when the WE proposal reached the cabinet table, the prime minister and the finance minister should have recused themselves from the vote because both had family members who have been compensated by WE.

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Ethics watchdog investigating Trudeau over WE Charity’s $912-million contract
Ethics watchdog investigating Trudeau over WE Charity’s $912-million contract

Who knows how all of this is going to play out?

There will be investigations and likely parliamentary committee hearings and lots of finger-pointing by the opposition parties.

Read more: Conservatives say they want Trudeau, Morneau to testify on WE Charity controversy

Unfortunately, part of the collateral damage may be the student assistance program itself, which, by all accounts, is a worthwhile and needed hand up toward student employment.

And what adds to the frustration is the fact that it didn’t have to happen this way.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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