TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th July, 2020) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau retains the approval of half of Canadians despite being embroiled in scandal following a decision to award a government contract to a charity tied to his family, an Angus Reid poll revealed.
Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have incurred criticism after multiple investigative pieces revealed close ties between their families and the WE Charity, which was awarded a $670-million sole-source contract to administer a government-sponsored student volunteer program.
"The study indicates that half of Canadians (50 percent) are in approval of the prime minister's performance while nearly the same number (48 percent) disapprove. This represents a slight drop from his 55 per cent approval in May but still a considerable increase over his pre-COVID-19 era approval in February (33 percent)," the poll data revealed on Monday.
The findings also show that twice as many Canadians strongly disapprove of Trudeau as opposed to those who strongly approve - 34 percent to 16 percent.
The findings showed that the 5 percent decline in popularity was the result of a loss of support among Conservative and New Democrat voters, while his support among his base - Liberal party voters - rose by one percentage point.
The authors of the study suggest that Trudeau's continued support is the result of Canadian voters prioritizing the novel coronavirus response above all other issues. The study found that 38 percent of respondents believe that the pandemic response remains the top issue facing the country - an area where 59 percent of Canadians believe Trudeau has done a good job.
Pundits have said that it remains to be seen whether the latest ethics investigation into the Trudeau's relationship with the charity will impact his standing with voters. Trudeau was previously found in violation of conflict of interest rules for interfering in the investigation into corrupt practices by engineering giant SNC-Lavalin's dealings in Libya and improperly accepting gifts or "other advantages" when visiting Aga Khan's private island.
An investigation by independent media outlet Canadaland revealed that Trudeau's mother Margaret Trudeau and brother Alexandre Trudeau were paid a combined sum of $258,000 for speaking engagements at WE Charity events. Trudeau's wife Sophie has also participated in a number of WE Charity events around the world.