Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for his role in the We Charity scandal on Monday morning.
The nearly billion-dollar program came under scrutiny after it was revealed that We Charity, an organization Trudeau's family has worked for, was chosen to administer it. Trudeau's wife, brother and mother have been paid a combined $300,000 Canadian (US$221,000) for speaking at a number of WE events.
"I made a mistake not recusing myself immediately from the discussions, given our family's history".
"We recognized that the situation continues to be complex in the United States in regards to COVID-19", said Trudeau during his daily briefing.
"So I have known, obviously, for many years that my mom has been an extraordinary advocate for mental health issues, a professional public speaker who works with a range of different organizations", Trudeau said.
In the meantime, he added, "we're going to continue to work hard to keep Canadians safe and to work hard to keep our economies flowing".
Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, Canada's most populous province, on Monday said the situation in Florida was "staggering" and "scary".
The prime minister clarified the contract for WE to administer the program was for about $20 million. not the total $900.
On Sunday, Canada's opposition Conservative Party said it would ask Trudeau to testify under oath before the House of Commons finance committee about the contract.
Controversy over WE Charity's contract has dominated debate on Parliament Hill for weeks.
Previously, the federal ethics commissioner announced an investigation into the federal government's now-canceled decision to have WE Charity manage the program for summer students.
The deal was terminated on July 3 after allegations of a conflict of interest came up over connections between the charity and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family.