Update Concerning the Work of The Special Independent Committee


Montreal, July 12, 2023 - The Special Independent Committee established by the interim Board of Directors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation continues its work concerning the circumstances surrounding the acceptance of donations in 2016 and 2017, alleged to have been linked to the Chinese government.

The first stage of their investigation, an extensive review of several thousand documents, is now complete and the Committee has begun its interview with key individuals.

The Special Committee is headed by two volunteer lawyers who have never been Members, Directors, or employees of the Foundation in the past:  

  • Me Stuart H. (Kip) Cobbett - A Montreal lawyer, Me Cobbett was a partner at Heenan Blaikie before becoming President of Astral Film Entreprises Inc. in the late 1980s. He was also Chair of the Board of Governors of McGill University from 2010 to 2017. A partner for over 23 years with the firm Stikeman Elliott, he now sits on several boards of directors.
  • Me Peter MacKinnon – A lawyer and jurist, Me MacKinnon is President Emeritus of the University of Saskatchewan and a former Interim President of Dalhousie and Athabasca universities. In 2011, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to education and his commitment to innovation and research excellence".

As part of its work, the Committee has retained the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. The Special Committee expects to complete its work by the end of the summer.