Trudeau’s Green Slush Fund: Former Employee Alleges ‘Gross Mismanagement’ of Funds, Former Chair Walks Away from Committee

A former employee of Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC), often referred to as “Trudeau’s green slush fund,” testified on Monday before a parliamentary committee, revealing a series of complaints about mismanagement and a toxic work environment within the federal green fund. 

The whistleblower, who worked at SDTC from 2020 to 2022, disclosed that tens of millions of dollars in public funds were misspent by the foundation, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the clean tech sector. The whistleblower testified to the committee in person on the condition that his name would not be disclosed.

Allegations of breaches to the conflict of interest policy, favoritism at the senior management level, and “gross mismanagement” of public funds were reportedly ignored by SDTC until a group of current and former employees, including the whistleblower, brought the situation to the attention of the government earlier this year.

After receiving the whistleblower complaint, the Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) initiated an inquiry by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, whose October report validated several of the whistleblowers’ allegations. The former employee emphasized that these complaints were never taken seriously within SDTC and were consistently dismissed.

During his testimony, the whistleblower raised concerns about approximately $40 million in special payments made during the Covid-19 pandemic to companies with pre-existing funding agreements with SDTC. He suggested that SDTC determined in 2021 that most of these companies did not need the funds and speculated that the money might have been used to help senior executives meet performance targets and receive year-end bonuses.

Following the release of the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton report, SDTC saw the resignations of its CEO, Leah Lawrence, and then the chair of the board of directors, Annette Verschuren. Verschuren faced criticism for approving funding from SDTC to her own company in 2020 and 2021.

According to Member of the Parliament Michael Barrett, who also recently revealed that another member of the SDTC’s board was under investigation, posted a video on X that shows Verschuren in a video call, appearing to abruptly walk away from the committee. 

In the clip, the former chair of the SDTC’s board was saying “I take responsibility in governance very seriously. I am chair of governance of a major company in Canada, I understand —” and then she stands up, appears to take off her headphones and leaves. The video then cuts off. Barrett has called the action “a new obstruction tactic.”

Information for this story was found via CBC, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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