Former Trudeau Foundation CEO Rosenberg Met with Chinese Officials

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The former CEO of the Trudeau Foundation who accepted a donation linked to the Chinese regime told a committee he had not met with Chinese officials on the issue, but was presented with information that he did.

Conservative MP Michael Barrett asked Morris Rosenberg if he had met with officials from the People’s Republic of China to arrange the donation and he said it wasn’t the case.

Barrett said he was in possession of an access to information record indicating that Rosenberg met with Chinese consular officials on Sept. 24, 2014. “Does that jog your memory?” asked Barrett.

“Yes … Sorry about that,” replied Rosenberg, who was testifying before the House of Commons ethics committee on May 2. Rosenberg was at the helm of the foundation from 2014 to 2018.

“So we have evidence that the president of the foundation met with consular officials from a foreign government to arrange a donation where they have the brother” of the prime minister sign a donation agreement, said Barrett.

“So the foundation met with a foreign government, arranged this donation … and it’s minuted that it was a requirement to have Mr. [Alexandre] Trudeau personally involved.”

Barrett asked Rosenberg, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, how he could not see this was a “foreign influence operation.”

Rosenberg apologized for not having looked at the whole list of meeting attendees. “I didn’t mean to mislead anybody on that.”

“This was an initiating meeting. This was not about the donation at this point. They were talking about a donation to the University of Montreal and to other universities in Canada.”

This was September 2014, but Alexandre Trudeau, then a foundation director, had been involved as early as June 2014 in the deal.

Former Université de Montréal (UdeM) vice-president Guy Lefebvre, who says he was instrumental in the donation agreement, told Le Devoir that the foundation was not initially part of the donation deal and had inserted itself in the picture.

Chinese businessmen Zhang Bin and Niu Gensheng had pledged $1 million to the UdeM and the foundation. Both are affiliated to the state-backed China Cultural Industry Association (CCIA), and so is Zhang’s company which was the official donor, Millennium Golden Eagle Canada.

Rosenberg told the committee that the donation was not foreign, since it had been made in the name of the company which is registered in Quebec.

This also proved to be incorrect, with MPs reading from a donation receipt issued to the company but sent to an address in Hong Kong.

“That didn’t seem strange after working as a deputy minister of foreign affairs?” asked Conservative MP Luc Berthold.

Millennium Golden Eagle Canada is also affiliated to Millennium Golden Eagle in China, a state-affiliated entity associated with the CCIA.

Alexandre Trudeau will testify at the committee on May 3.

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