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Poilievre says Tories will seek committee probe into McKinsey consulting contracts – National

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says his party’s MPs will ask a parliamentary committee to study  federal contracts given to the consulting firm McKinsey, following recent media reports describing a spike in awards to the company under the Liberal government.

Poilievre’s call comes after Radio-Canada reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government spent 30 times more on contracts with the consulting firm than what was granted to McKinsey under his predecessor, Stephen Harper.

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Now, Poilievre says the House of Commons government operations and estimates committee should launch a study into the tens of millions of dollars reportedly awarded to the firm.

“Recent reporting has shown neither the company nor the government is willing to explain what the money is for,” Poilievre said, speaking in a press conference on Tuesday.

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According to Radio-Canada’s reporting, which Poilievre cited, Harper’s government awarded $2.2 million in contracts to McKinsey over the nine years it was in power. Since coming to office in 2015, however, Trudeau’s government reportedly gave $66 million in contracts to the firm.

More than $24 million of this money, the report added, dealt with contracts related to the immigration department.

“We want to know what all this money was for,” Poilievre said.


Click to play video: 'Pierre Poilievre calls out Trudeau over contracts awarded to global consulting firm McKinsey'


Pierre Poilievre calls out Trudeau over contracts awarded to global consulting firm McKinsey


Poilievre also expressed concerns about the potential influence of the firm, and Trudeau’s decision to appoint former McKinsey director Dominic Barton as his ambassador to China for just over two years, ending in 2021.

In order to launch such a study, however, Conservative MPs will need to submit a formal motion to the government operations committee. Then, the request will have to pass a vote.

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With five Liberals and five opposition members sitting on the committee, the Tories can only win that vote if they have the support of all opposition MPs — and the Conservative chair.

Poilievre said the motion will also seek documents about the McKinsey contracts.

“That includes contracts, conversations, records of work done, meetings held, text messages, email exchanges, everything that the government has with the company since taking office should be made public so that we can study all of these facts and hold the government accountable,” he said.

This isn’t the first time McKinsey has faced scrutiny in recent years.

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Le Parisien newspaper reported in November that French President Emmanuel Macron had been accused of illegally financing his 2017 campaign, in connection with contracts with McKinsey.

The French prosecutor’s office confirmed it had widened an existing probe into alleged tax fraud by McKinsey to include the role of consultancy groups in France’s 2017 and 2022 election races, Reuters reported at the time.

The firm was also forced to pay nearly USD$600 million in settlements in 2021 over its alleged promotion of opioid sales as the opioid crisis gripped the United States.

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In light of these controversies, Poilievre said he wants to know more about the “outsized influence” this company may have had on “the operation of our government, in our democracy.”

“It’s time for Canadians to get answers,” Poilievre said.

Global News has reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment.

— with files from Reuters

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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