The Trudeau Liberal government is facing a political crisis over questions over his giving a $900 million dollar contract to the We charity even though his wife, mother and brother had received almost $300,000 from the charity. The ethics commissioner has already announced that he will examine whether Trudeau committed ethical violations in awarding the contracts. There are also demands that the RCMP investigate the contract to see if a criminal offence has occurred.
Members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immediate family received hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking at events hosted by WE Charity, the organization at the centre of a widening political scandal for the Liberal government.
Trudeau is facing his third ethics investigation as prime minister for his government’s decision to sole-source the delivery of a $900-million volunteering grant program to WE Charity.
The prime minister has said that both he and his family had “voluntarily” worked with WE in the past and they intend to continue that work. But WE confirmed that members of Trudeau’s family, including his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, have received financial compensation for speaking at WE-hosted events.
The existence of financial payments between WE and the Trudeau family was first reported by Canadaland and CBC News on Thursday.
Margaret Trudeau, the prime minister’s mother, received $250,000 in honorariums for speaking at 28 WE-hosted events between 2016 and 2020. Alexandre Trudeau, the prime minister’s brother, received $32,000 in speaking fees between 2017 and 2018.
WE said both were booked for the events through Speakers’ Spotlight, a company that connects notable speakers to corporate and charity event organizers. The company once featured Justin Trudeau, before his acceptance of paid speaking gigs as an MP set off a minor scandal. The payments were supposed to be from ME to WE Social Enterprise, WE’s for-profit corporation, not the charity itself.
Grégoire Trudeau, an “ambassador and ally” to WE who also hosts a podcast for the charity, was given a one-time honorarium of $1,400 for speaking at a WE event in 2012.