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RCMP ‘examining’ decision to give WE Charity deal to run student service program

Click to play video 'RCMP ‘examining’ Ottawa’s WE Charity contract' RCMP ‘examining’ Ottawa’s WE Charity contract
WATCH: An RCMP statement says the force is "examining" the federal government's now-cancelled contract with WE Charity. Mercedes Stephenson explains why. Plus, she looks at how proroguing Parliament takes the heat off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the risk of the government being brought down.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they are “examining” the decision by the federal government to give WE Charity a deal to administer a now-cancelled student service program.

Click to play video 'Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup' Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup
Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup

Global News on Wednesday asked the national police force “whether the RCMP is investigating the Liberal government’s decision to award a contract to the WE Charity Foundation to administer the $900-million federal student grant program?”

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Read more: Documents suggest bureaucrats urged to look at WE charity for student aid program

A spokesperson for the force responded as follows.

“The RCMP is examining this matter carefully with all available information and will take appropriate actions as required. It would be inappropriate for us to provide anymore further comments on this matter at this time.”

Click to play video 'Trudeau says they’ve released WE Charity documents for review, don’t want election' Trudeau says they’ve released WE Charity documents for review, don’t want election
Trudeau says they’ve released WE Charity documents for review, don’t want election

The RCMP similarly said last year that it was “examining” the SNC Lavalin case.

An examination is not the same as a formal criminal investigation.

The now nullified contract is, however, at the centre of an investigation by federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion.

The ongoing inquiry is seeking to determine whether the federal government engaged in a conflict of interest by awarding WE Charity the single-source contract.

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Read more: Bill Morneau steps down as finance minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire after it was revealed members of his family – his mother Margaret Trudeau, his brother Alexandre Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau – had each received payments for speaking at a number of the charity’s events.

Dion also broadened the scope of the ethics probe to include investigating whether former Finance Minister Bill Morneau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by accepting travel gifts from the charity.

Click to play video 'WE controversy: Bill Morneau says he wishes he had ‘done things differently’ with charity' WE controversy: Bill Morneau says he wishes he had ‘done things differently’ with charity
WE controversy: Bill Morneau says he wishes he had ‘done things differently’ with charity

Last month, Morneau revealed to a House of Commons Committee that he had recently reimbursed the organization more than $41,000 to cover travel expenses incurred when he, his wife and their daughters took part in trips with WE Charity.

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Morneau served as Canada’s Finance Minister under Trudeau until his resignation on Monday.

-With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson