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QUESTION PERIOD — Public Services and Procurement

Procurement Process

April 17, 2024

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) [ - ]

Leader, in February 2023, I raised with you the millions of dollars in contracts given to the McKinsey consulting firm by the Trudeau government. In response, you said you didn’t accept the “. . . premise, assumption or statement . . . ” in my questions.

On Monday, the Procurement Ombud confirmed the Trudeau government had indeed favoured their friends at McKinsey in awarding lucrative contracts. In fact, his report shows instances where procurement strategies were changed to ensure McKinsey was eligible to bid. As well, bids were inappropriately re-evaluated, resulting in McKinsey being deemed the only compliant bidder.

Leader, your government ensured Liberal insiders received $112 million for work the public service could have done. Why hasn’t anyone apologized to taxpayers?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for your question. The use of outside consultants — especially during times when the resources of the public service were stretched due to various issues, not limited to but dominated by the work that the public service did during the pandemic — is a necessary component of what any responsible government would do.

As I said in response to an earlier question, the government takes seriously the allegations and the reports that have been made, both internal and external, and has taken and will continue to take measures to ensure that the procurement practices conform to the highest standards.

Senator Martin [ - ]

The Procurement Ombud said the Trudeau government directed contracts towards McKinsey. They also failed to establish estimated procurement costs in advance of their discussions with McKinsey. That sounds like blank cheque to me, leader.

Why was it so important to the Trudeau government to take care of McKinsey while our soldiers rely on food donations?

Hear, hear.

Senator Gold [ - ]

Well, again, I can only repeat what I’ve said, namely, that the allegations and the investigations into how contracts were awarded are taken seriously. Steps have been taken seriously to remedy it, and the government is committed to ensuring that its practices conform to the highest standards.

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