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No concerns raised at time of Beijing-linked donation: former Trudeau Foundation head

OTTAWA — Former Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation head Morris Rosenberg says concerns were never raised to him about a large donation to the charity from two Chinese businessmen connected to Beijing.

His successor Pascale Fournier told a parliamentary committee that people connected to the donors were communicating with foundation employees about omitting information on a tax receipt related to the $140,000 gift from billionaire Zhang Bin and another businessman. 

Rosenberg, who was in charge at the time, says he was unaware of such emails and trusted his employees to properly administer donations, adding that the issue was not raised in the foundation’s own audits or by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Rosenberg, a former public servant who also authored a report on Canada’s handling of foreign interference in the 2021 election, made the comments in front of a parliamentary committee today.

Zhang is the president of a Chinese cultural organization that says it operates under the “total leadership” of the communist government and was formed with the approval of China’s State Council, which is synonymous with the central government.

Zhang is also listed as the chairman of Millennium Golden Eagle International, the company that the Trudeau Foundation recently returned the donation to, on multiple privately run Chinese company registries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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