Former Trudeau Foundation CEO says she resigned after pushback on donation audit

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OTTAWA — The former CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation says she resigned because some members of its board of directors refused to recuse themselves from involvement in an independent forensic audit into a 2016 donation that she says was linked to China.

Pascale Fournier and eight other board members of the foundation resigned on April 11.

Fournier was a witness at the House of Commons ethics committee this morning as part of its study on foreign interference in Canada.

She says that after the Globe and Mail reported in February on connections between the Chinese government and donors to the foundation, she found out that a Chinese organization was communicating with foundation employees about omitting information on a tax receipt for a donation.

She says that after she discovered two different tax receipts were associated with the same $140,000 gift, she sought to have the details examined by accountants and lawyers — but she received pushback from some members of the board.

The foundation, which provides scholarships and mentorship programs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press