OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau, brother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, testified that Chinese donations to the Pierre Trudeau Foundation did not constitute Chinese interference.
During a House of Commons ethics committee session on Wednesday, Sacha Trudeau, the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, told Parliament members that China-linked donations to the Pierre Trudeau Foundation were not intended to allow foreign power influence over Canadian politics.
“I must insist there was no foreign interference, no possibility of interference, no intention or means of interference at or in the Trudeau Foundation,” Sacha testified, adding the session was “a waste of time.”
Sacha volunteered to appear before the committee after a photograph of him surfaced with Chinese donors accepting the $140,000 contribution on behalf of the Trudeau Foundation, which calls itself “an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister.”
According to Sacha, the 2016 and 2017 donations totaling $140,000 from Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin and Chinese businessman Niu Gensheng were given to the Trudeau Foundation and the University of Montréal to launch a scholarship program in his father’s name.
Along with these donations was a $750,000 contribution to the University of Montreal. However, Sacha claimed these donations came “a long way from any notion of a Trudeau government, or even a Trudeau Opposition leader.”
Sacha also asserted the donations were aimed to help “Chinese students (to be) exposed to Canadian ways.”
“At this time in 2015, 2016, China was not the hard place it has now become,” he argued. “And we were not on our guard in the same way. No one was. Even our CSIS agents will report that. Things have changed a great deal.”
Sacha emphatically denied former Foundation CEO Pascale Fournier’s testimony that the donations were aimed to influence the Liberal Party.
According to Fournier, while Sacha was a senior director, the foundation deliberately misrepresented the source of the donation, alleging it came from Canadians when the original checks indicate the donation came from the China Cultural Industry Association of Beijing.
“I realized a Chinese Association was communicating with employees of the foundation,” Fournier said. “They were giving clear direction on what needed to appear on receipts issued by the foundation. I found that troubling.”
According to Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, Justin Trudeau also maintains his innocence in the matter and claimed he has, in Genuis’ words, “had no connection, no involvement with the foundation in the last 10 years despite the fact he is listed as a member of the foundation in their latest Annual Report.”
Genuis revealed that as soon as Trudeau took office as prime minister in 2015, the “foundation that bears his name started receiving substantial amounts of new money in foreign donations.”
The Trudeau Foundation has undergone increased scrutiny regarding its connection with China, and the examination will continue. MPs from the House of Commons Public Accounts committee voted unanimously last week to start an investigation into how the foundation is funded.
This decision came after a report surfaced detailing how the non-profit group received a $200,000 donation alleged to be connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After the release of this report, the Trudeau Foundation’s entire board of directors, including the president and CEO, resigned.
The donation revelation came amid an ever-growing number of reports alleging that the CCP has been meddling in Canada’s last two federal elections, both of which saw Trudeau emerge victorious.
Late last month, one of Trudeau’s own MPs, Han Dong, resigned from the Liberal Party just hours after a news report broke alleging that he had asked a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 to delay the release of two Canadians held captive by the Communist Chinese regime.