Trudeau facing ethics and criminal questions over $900 million WE contract

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WE Charity Now Registered To Lobby, Executive Tells Committee

WE Charity says it registered earlier in the day, when asked about the timing of their submission to Canada's lobbyist registry during Thursday's Finance Committee hearing regarding the WE Charity affair and its now cancelled student service grant program. The organization's executive director Dalal Al-Waheidi said they were unaware that it was necessary and would have done so sooner had they known..."

Maybe it was not 'necessary' because it was already in the bag with Justin and Cabinet, and if not perhaps WE thought a few hundred grand to mother Margaret and a nice luxury junket or two for Bill Morneau etc would probably work as well or better.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

Maybe it was not 'necessary' because it was already in the bag with Justin and Cabinet, and if not perhaps WE thought a few hundred grand to mother Margaret and a nice luxury junket or two for Bill Morneau etc would probably work as well or better.

Those things aren't lobbying, they're just being nice to your friends. LOL.


Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

Maybe it was not 'necessary' because it was already in the bag with Justin and Cabinet, and if not perhaps WE thought a few hundred grand to mother Margaret and a nice luxury junket or two for Bill Morneau etc would probably work as well or better.

Those things aren't lobbying, they're just being nice to your friends. LOL.

And that's the way the world goes round, your up one day and the next your down.


NDP Wants 'Full Investigation' into Whether WE Charity Engaged in Improper Lobbying (and vid)

"...On Friday, NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus tweeted a letter containing the request to Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Belanger dated August 10, four days before WE Charity told MPs it registered with the federal registry of lobbyists. 'I wrote to her...for an investigation because the more we learn about WE's government activities, the more concerning it became,' Angus said on Friday. We need an investigation here..."


Trudeau, Morneau Set to Meet as Tensions Build

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are expected to meet in person on Monday, according to a senior government source. The nature of the meeting is to discuss their working relationship according to the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record. Recent media reports have suggested the relationship between Trudeau and Morneau has become strained, in part because of the finance minister's involvment in the WE Charity scandal, which has left the prime minister on the defensive.

Bloomberg News reported last week that Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor [*and senior international partner, Goldman Sachs - wonder why msm always forgets to mention that?], has been serving as an informal advisor to Trudeau on the economic recovery*."

(hehehehe. Get ready for the bad news...)


Mourneau resigns and will leave parliament.

Sources also told Bloomberg that Trudeau and Morneau have more fundamental disagreement over economic and fiscal matters, with Morneau acting as a bulwark to more left-leaning members of federal cabinet closely aligned with the prime minister. 

Since the pandemic began, Trudeau has consulted with former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney over economic policies. There is speculation that Carney, who recently departed as head of the Bank of England to return to Canada, will enter into politics. 

Morneau’s resignation as MP for Toronto Centre also offers Carney a solid Liberal seat to run in, one that is no stranger to candidates from outside the riding running in.


Gosh, with an ex- Goldman Sachs international bankster  AND the man who broke Glass Steagal (Larry Summers) advising Justin on financial matters we'll be off to the races...

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

Gosh, with an ex- Goldman Sachs international bankster  AND the man who broke Glass Steagal (Larry Summers) advising Justin on financial matters we'll be off to the races...

And to lead that powerhouse neoliberal team, your new finance minister, Chrystia Freeland.


From Michael's link above:

"We all know it was scandal that brought Mr Morneau down. In fact, we now have a government of corruption, coverup and chaos at a time of deadly pandemic and the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression.' Poilievre said Morneau is a 'boy scout' compared to Trudeau's ethics breaches, and said the prime minister should resign.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves Francois Blanchet has said he will try to trigger a fall election if the prime minister, his chief of staff and the finance minister didn't resign..."

Justin Trudeau should resign. But given the dismal alternative prospects and the times, most Canadians will eschew an election and probably return a Liberal government to power in any case. Preferably a minority one again.


Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

Gosh, with an ex- Goldman Sachs international bankster  AND the man who broke Glass Steagal (Larry Summers) advising Justin on financial matters we'll be off to the races...

And to lead that powerhouse neoliberal team, your new finance minister, Chrystia Freeland.

Hahaha!  That is a great line, Michael!

Misfit Misfit's picture

I just read up on Chrystia Freeland in wiki. A piece of interest is that her mother ran as an NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona in 1968. I certainly did not know that and never would have guessed.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

The first time I noticed C.F. was in the 90s when she appeared occasionally on The McLaughlin Group. I believe she was writing for the Financial Times of London at that time, but she was already a skilled apologist for the billionaire class.



I just read up on Chrystia Freeland in wiki. A piece of interest is that her mother ran as an NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona in 1968. I certainly did not know that and never would have guessed.


Chrystia Freeland Once Counted NDP Among Her Fans

If Babble's search engine wasn't such a train wreck you could have found that information and more on her right here. No surprise the NDP were/are congenial with her or her views. As a matter of fact in one of the videos I posted she takes credit for teaching NDP members how to properly pronounce the Ukrainian fascist salute (Slava Ukraini!). NDP = No Difference Party.


NDPP wrote:


If Babble's search engine wasn't such a train wreck you could have found that information and more on her right here. 

Here's is one of Rabble's article about Freeland and the second Canada-US free trade deal. 

Onward, to Chapter 11. This is ISDS: investor-state-dispute-settlement. It allows U.S. companies to sue Canada's government if it does anything, such as regulate the environment, which might cut into a company's expected profits. Please read that again, it is as it says. They've done so and received hundreds of millions in Canadian public funds. It's a global corporate wet dream. Not even Canadian firms get to do that.

Freeland wants to add a clause, likely in a "preamble," saying governments have the right to act in the public interest -- as was placed in the Canada-Europe trade deal. But preambles aren't legally binding.

The only authentic solution is eliminating the chapter, and the right. Why? Because it's outrageous. But that won't happen because the money guys want it there. This proves that these deals aren't really about trade; they're about investment: the rights of investors to take their money and put it wherever profits will be biggest.

Final point. Liberals like Freeland are partly neo-liberal, in that they ardently support free trade deals. But they're also partly social democratic: they're willing to run deficits and redistribute wealth via social programs. So they're trying to square a circle that Stephen Harper never had to wrestle with.

But no matter how many numbers Freeland plucks to show the economy's mighty growth in the free trade years, in those same years, most people's lives have hardened: income stagnated; infrastructure declined; universities became debt traps -- the growth was distributed entirely upward. This is politically toxic.

She said Monday, "Too many working people feel abandoned by the 21st century global economy, and have voted accordingly." So, "We must share the fruits of trade..." It's "the all-important, connecting piece, the tie between free trade and equitable domestic policy...They need to advance together."

This is not irrational, it's just impossible. Why? Because the whole purpose of the deals was to undercut the gains of the majority, who'd benefitted since the Second World War, by shifting jobs to poorer places (like Mexico) so as to extract concessions and raise profits. Why would those who backed the deals for those reasons, give that up? Using trade deals to benefit everyone is a nice idea but, like that spider, it's not their nature. You're trying to reengineer their souls.


Given Freeland's well known affinity to oligarchy, the Atlanticist establishment and  the US financial elite, and given the serious economic collapse now unfolding there and elsewhere, Canadians should seriously consider Freeland's ultimate loyalties when placed in a portfolio where the opportunity to  sell us out is not only possible but probable. We've already had a taste with her NAFTA2 surrender agreement. This after all is a Canadian finance minister who calls the most notorious  neoliberal bankster deregulationist in US history, Larry Summers, her 'guru.' Be warned.

Misfit Misfit's picture

She threw the Canadian dairy farmers under the bus in her latest North American trade deal.


"Minister Dominic LeBlanc says his government's decision to prorogue parliament today is in 'no way designed to avoid scrutiny.' Liberals promised in their 2015 election platform not to use prorogation to avoid 'difficult political circumstances.'

They lied. Again.


Redacted WE Documents Are Part of Coverup by Liberal Government, Conservatives Say (and vid)

"Newly published government documents reveal the frantic 'shit-show' that led to the creation and outsourcing of a controversial program to WE Charity, as well as the heavy hand of political operatives throughout the process. Finance critic Pierre Poilievre said the documents show that the program was driven by political staff rather than 'being dreamed up by a bunch of mid-level bureaucrats'..."


Procurement Ombudsman Opens Investigation into Six Sole-Source Contracts Awarded to WE by Trudeau Govt

"The deals, all under the $40,000 threshold that would require a tendering process, were signed between 2017 and 2020 by four federal departments. The review of the six contracts, as well as others that may come up during the investigation, aims to determine if each was issued lawfully..."


Spouse of Trudeau's Chief of Staff Lobbied for COVID Wage Subsidy Program Changes to Benefit His Company

"Rob Silver, Katie Telford's husband, is not a registered lobbyist and went on a concerted campaign to get ex-finance minister Bill Morneau to change the rules to a multi-billion dollar program..."


It must be wonderful to have Liberal connections ready to listen to your every request. 

The spouse of the chief of staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a plugged-in Liberal in his own right, embarked on a concerted effort to lobby ex-finance minister Bill Morneau’s office to change a multi-billion dollar emergency wage subsidy program to benefit his company, VICE News has learned.

The revelations, even if the attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, comes as the Trudeau government grapples with two concurrent ethics investigations tied to a youth grant program. It also comes just after Morneau resigned abruptly amid clashes with the prime minister over COVID-19 spending programs.

Rob Silver is a former lobbyist who now serves as Senior Vice President for mortgage and insurance giant MCAP. He is also married to Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford. According to two sources familiar with the matter, Silver repeatedly asked his partner’s government to change its COVID-19 emergency assistance program for businesses so it would include MCAP.

Silver went so far as to request specific legislative amendments to the Commercial Emergency Wage Subsidy, according to two sources who are familiar with the matter. ...

MCAP Commercial LP, however, is a partnership, where 75 percent is owned by the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec—Quebec’s government-created pension fund. Because the Caisse is tax-exempt, it does not qualify for the wage subsidy. By extension, sources say, neither does MCAP. ...

After the wage subsidy legislation, C-14, was tabled in Parliament in April, Silver began reaching out to contacts in government to express his frustration over the program. According to the two sources familiar with the exchanges, Silver began pressuring Morneau’s Chief of Staff Elder Marques, and Director of Policy Tyler Meredith to expand eligibility to cover MCAP.

Silver, according to those familiar, made multiple phone calls and sent multiple emails, some of which requested specific legislative changes he wanted to see incorporated into the legislation or regulations. Silver wanted the program to be opened up to include limited liability partnerships, like MCAP. The changes, both sources agree, would have uniquely benefited MCAP.

The sources familiar with the affair spoke to VICE News on the condition of anonymity. Silver did not respond to multiple requests for comment. ...

Morneau’s office told Silver that such requests were inappropriate, according to both sources, given that Silver is a former lobbyist, now representing a company which does business with Ottawa, and the partner of the chief of staff to the prime minister. Few people in the country would have direct access to as many senior officials as Silver.

Not satisfied, Silver went to the prime minister’s office, where he made the same request of Mike McNair, a special policy advisor to the prime minister’s office.

One source says McNair referred Silver back to Morneau’s office, and asked the staffers there to speak to him.


The WE Charity Scandal Reveals the Rot in the Nonprofit World

"...Cozying up to the powerful is justified under the pretence that doing so will allow non-profit organizations to influence those with wealth and privilege. The opposite of course, ends up being the case, as tying their fortunes to the generosity of powerful non-profit organizations makes them beholden to forces  they should be working to oppose. And aid development organizations also find neoliberal rhetoric to their liking because it helps them justify why they, not government, should be providing essential services in the Global South..."


House Law Clerk Raises Alarm About Pre-Redacted WE Charity Docs

"A non-partisan parliamentary official is pushing back against the decision by several departments to submit thousands of pages of documents to a House of Commons committee with redactions already made, saying it's not up to government to black out parts of the tabled documents...The finance committee will need to wait for at least another month to respond, because of Trudeau's decision to prorogue parliament, which has effectively shut down multiple committees investigating into the WE Charity."

Outrageous coverup in progress.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

Outrageous coverup in progress.

I agree, but I don't see how it succeeds in this minority government situation. If the opposition parties all want the unredacted documents, they can get them, or beat the Liberals with the issue in an election which is a direct referendum on the WE affair.


The House of Commons law clerk is warning that civil servants who carried out redactions in the 5,000 pages that were released went too far in their redactions concerning the We charity and  the summer student grants program and that having departments redact their own documents violated the committee investigating this issue request. This resulted in hundreds of blank pages. How convenient for the civil servants and the Liberal Party.

The Prime Minister's Office had said the redactions were done by the parliamentary law clerk, Philippe Dufresne. However, he said in a confidential letter most of the redactions were done by civil servants. How convenient for the civil servants and the Liberal Party. Can we say coverup?

The House of Commons law clerk says public servants went too far in redacting the WE Charity documents released to MPs last week — and warns the cuts may have violated a production order from the finance committee to hand over all internal correspondence related to the summer student grants program.

The government released thousands of pages of documents related to the WE matter, as the committee requested last month. But rather than have the independent law clerk redact certain information, such as cabinet confidences and personal information, the various departments responsible for this aborted program did the blackouts themselves — an apparent contravention of the committee's request.

The end result was hundreds of blank pages and blacked-out content — information only known to the public servants who red-penciled the material. ...

The finance committee requested all memos related to the WE Charity contribution agreement and clearly stipulated that any redactions should be "made by the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the House of Commons" — not government censors.

Last week, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office told CBC News that the redactions were done by the parliamentary law clerk, who was following the committee's direction to remove documents covered by cabinet confidentiality and personal information about Canadian citizens.

But that law clerk, Philippe Dufresne, said in a confidential August 18 letter to the clerk of the finance committee that the vast majority of the blackouts had been done by government bureaucrats — and some relevant information relating to the $912 million deal with WE may have been withheld, something which could constitute a breach of parliamentary privilege.

Dufresne raised red flags about the redaction process, saying his office did not have a chance to review the written material in its original form as the committee had intended. He also said the redactions his office did were limited to the personal information of public servants working on this file.

"The documents had already been redacted by the departments to protect personal information and on other grounds. As my office has not been given the opportunity to see the unredacted documents, we are not able to confirm whether those redactions are consistent with the order of the Committee," Dufresne said in his correspondence with David Gagnon, the finance committee clerk.

"The departments made certain redactions to the documents on grounds that were not contemplated in the order of the committee. We note that the House's and its committees' power to order the production of records is absolute and unfettered as it constitutes a constitutional parliamentary privilege that supersedes statutory obligations, such as the exemptions found in the Access to Information Act." ...

"The House and its committees are the appropriate authority to determine whether any reasons for withholding the documents should be accepted or not," Dufresne added. 

The opposition parties have said that the documents that have been released so far call into question Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claim that he first learned that public servants were recommending that WE Charity administer the grants program ahead of a cabinet meeting on May 8. ...

Pierre-Alain Bujold, spokesperson for the PCO, side-stepped a question about whether the government would hand over the documents — in their original state — for review by the law clerk. He did not say why bureaucrats assumed responsibility for the redactions, despite the committee's order.




NDP's Angus Calls for Resignation of Bardish Chagger

BREAKING: Angus on WE [email protected]:00


I watched about half but then I was falling asleep so didn't bother with the rest. What a waste of time. Everyone knows the WE deal was crooked. Ethics commissioner is investigating. Time to end the pearl-clutching and move on especially as the NDP doesn't seem to have a problem with the privatization of government services.


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Good point, Pondering. The privaatization of the services to deliver that program is what really gets into my craw. So little attention was paid to that part of the puzzle. And it really makes you question how much outsourcing of services is going on that we don't know about.

I am also personally appalled by any so called charity that is leveraging the plight of the global south to line their pockets. We Charity and it's sibling Me to We for profit "social entrepreneurship" adventure deserve to go into the trash heap.


Weakened by the WE Scandal, Justin Trudeau Asks Liberal MPs for Advice...

"The controversy over the now defunct WE student grant program - and the Opposition's accusation the Trudeau government is a centre-driven operation that gives preferential treatment to those with insider access - did political damage, admitted several sources. So the effort to craft an agenda to lead the economy out of the pandemic cannot be 'too centre-driven' or it will be unsuccessful, is how one source, who spoke on condition they not be named, put it. Some are skeptical and see the exercise as window-dressing. Others are hopeful..."


Once Again, A Weakened Liberal Government Offers the NDP an Opening

"A ceasefire on the centre-left? Barring a sudden change of heart by the Bloc, the Liberals seem to have one potential  partner: the NDP. Together, the Liberals and New Democrats currently occupy 177 seats in the House, a comfortable majority with which to pass legislation..."


"Also on July 30, 2020, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a union representing federal workers, issued a statement condemning allegations made on July 21, that the public service was unable to administer the program. In its concluding remarks, the statement read "Finally—and let me conclude—if the government had either used existing programs or asked the public service to set up a new student work and payment plan, it would have avoided the conflict of interest issues that have come to light since the WE Charity announcement, and it would have been able to deliver both pay and work experience to students."[69]"

To me the NDP is falling into the trap of personality politics. Trudeau's name and looks got him attention but they didn't get him elected. He got elected by promising not to balance the budget.

Trudeau going away will change nothing. The Liberals would still win the next election because the Conservatives are worse and the NDP unfocused and reactive.


The We Charity has just announced that it is winding down its Canadian operations. So I guess that the question shifts from the Trudeau Liberals claim whether the We Charity was the only organization that could carry out the summer volunteer program to whether the Trudeau Liberals' proposed funding of their politcal and Trudeau family pals at We was the only way that the We organization could stay alive. 

After months in the political spotlight and pointed questions about its role in a summer student grants contract, WE Charity is winding down its operations in Canada.

The move comes as the charity — like many other non-profits in this country — faces a cash crunch as donations dip due to the pandemic. WE also acknowledges that it found itself in the middle of a political scandal over the student grants contract that it was "ill-equipped" to fight.

In a media statement, the charity said the fallout from its failed effort to administer a $912-million contribution agreement on behalf of the federal government has made fundraising difficult and the "financial math for the charity's future is clear."

"Through decisive action to preserve our savings, sell our assets and establish an endowment, we hope to sustain global projects for the long-term, like our hospital, college and agricultural learning centre that meet critical needs of children and families," Craig Kielburger, co-founder of the charity, said in the statement.

The charity said a number of its corporate sponsorships have been cancelled and it doesn't have the cash on hand to keep funding the projects it supports around the world.

It will liquidate some of its assets to create an endowment fund to support projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa that are underway but not yet completed.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The whole premis that We Charity was the only organization that could deliver the program always felt patently false. This is further proof that desperation pushed the organization to lobby for contract HARD (and outside the boundaries of how contracting by the civil service works). For them to have snagged that lucrative contract smells beyond fishy - like a personal favour. It was an idiotic move on the part of the Trudeau government and it certainly taints the reputation of the civil service.


Political Fallout Continues Despite Shuttering of WE's Canadian Operations

"The demise of WE's Canadian operations won't take the heat off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his government's decision to hire the charity to run a now defunct student volunteer program. NDP MP Charlie Angus says WE's announcement Wednesday that it is shuttering its Canadian operations only underscores the lack of due diligence done by the government before handing administration of the program over to an organization that was evidently in financial distress..."



Nothing says "we're a completely innocent, totally legitimate charity" like fleeing the country the minute you attract scrutiny. The Kielburgers must be so confused. They followed the SNC-Lavalin playbook of buying immunity by buying cabinet members, but the spotlight hit them and they weren't able to take advantage of it. At this rate the Liberals are going to have trouble getting corporate donations during the next election.

Misfit Misfit's picture

They will get corporate donations. The sponsorship scandal should have finished off their corporate donations but it didn't.


Singh: 'No Question' Trudeau is to Blame for Fall fo WE Charity in Canada

"NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh places the blame for WE Charity's exit squarely at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's feet..."


Singh, focus on issues that will improve the NDP's vote count. This ain't it.

Misfit Misfit's picture

The Federal government has the largest bureaucratic workforce in Canada. That is its job to administer government funded student work programs in Canada.

So yes, this is Justin Trudeau's fault. It is also the job of the NDP leader to hammer home this point. The problem is that he is missing the mark by not bringing the civil service into the argument.

This is just like Stats Canada. There was a time in Canada when the government quoted Stats Canada findings. That ended when Brian Mulroney took office. Since then, the government has quoted the Simon Fraser Institute and the CD Howe Institute on matters pertaining to the economy. Both these institutes are right wing think tanks. No one seems to have an issue with this.

No one seems to have an issue either that our government is supposed to implement government programs themselves rather than pay private charities to do the work of our own government departments.


Not to mention the real biggie - Canada's surrender to international bankster mafia instead of utilizing  the Bank of Canada for what it was designed to do.

"The Bank of Canada was set up in 1935 in the wake of the Great Depression to provide a means for settling international acounts and to provide interest-free loans to government to finance infrastructure investments...In 1974, the central bank stopped providing interest-free loans to government so it could join the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a kind of central bank for central banks...Headquartered in Switzerland, the BIS is an organisation that brings together the central banks from 60 countries to cooperate in the promotion of 'international monetary and financial stability.'

Author Murray Dobbin comments, 'After nearly 40 years of this incredibly productive use of publicly created debt, unprecedented economic growth and increasing income equality, international finance got its chance to launch the 'free-market' counter-revolution against democratic governance.'

At our 2016 annual conference a resolution was passed that 'The Council of Canadians call on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, to stop all talk of a new federal infrastructure bank and - that the Council of Canadians call on the Government to immediately resume using the Bank of Canada - not just for infrastructure nees, but for all the needs of Canadians and the Indigenous Peoples of this land, and for the Minister of Finance to so direct the governor of the Bank of Canada."*

Fat chance with Chrystia Freeland, a true friend of Western 'rules-based-order' Oligarchy. Just wait, watch and see...

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

WE Charity was already in a whirlpool of debt. This bogus attempt to offload the student support program to a third party charity (sole sourced contract) was a safety jacket at best to help the "charitable" organization remain afloat in Canada. Seems that their US and possibly UK operations are doing okay. The Liberal government, especially with Morneau and Trudeau so closely involved with the organization, was beyond stupid in entering this deal. But they did not cause that organization to crash and burn - they just hastened what looked like a financial disaster in the making.

Misfit Misfit's picture

How could a charity that was on the verge of "crash and burn" status afford to pay the mother of Justin Trudeau $312,000.00 just to talk to students about mental health issues? I'm missing something here.

First of all, student mental health is not the responsibility of an overseas charity. The public school boards, the schools and provincial department of education are responsible for student mental health issues, not the Kielburgers. If the Kielburgers were sincerely interested in the mental welfare of students, clinical psychologists are properly qualified to speak to students about those issues, not Margaret Trudeau.

Each of the Kielburger brothers received an annual salary of about $120,000.00 to run the We Charity. I don't know how much clinical psychologists make but I would assume it is in the range closer to the Kielburger annual salary per year. Margaret Trudeau isn't qualified for anything but they paid her three times what they paid themselves in a year just to talk to students about her mental illness. They paid her with money that was supposed to build schools and dig wells in Africa. That is what the people donated the money for anyway, not to lavishly clothe and shelter the mother of the Prime Minister of Canada.

And what Laine Lowe said. They knew that they were in trouble financially. Laine said that this scandal simply "hastened what looked like a financial disaster in the making."

Exactly! So why were they involving themselves in student mental health? Why were they paying Margaret Trudeau three times what they make in a year to talk about her mental health issues to students with money raised for overseas projects? You would naturally think that they would scale back on their expenditures when they were in such dire financial hardship but instead they did the exact opposite, and they selectively targeted the two most powerful people in government: the Prime Minister of Canada, and the Minister of Finance to lavishly spend their money on.



The systematic pimping of Canadian student youth to unknowingly promote the interests of WE's 'corporate partners' is for me, still the worst aspect of this. That the Trudeau cabinet sought to juice them up with millions in taxpayers money, is straight up Liberano corruption as we've always known it. And remember - nobody around that cabinet table had the ethics or honour to remark the obvious conflict of interest, stand up and say no. Wouldn't trust them as far as I can spit and I suggest you don't either. Why such obvious hustlers, phonies and sellouts are still being put in charge of our affairs long after the depressing history of failure of this rotating system of elected gangster governments is well known is beyond me.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Misfit, their operations were such a convoluted mess with the back and forth between the charity and the for profit "social entreperneurship business" ME to WE (or is it vice versa - tongue in cheek). It seems the building schools and well in Africa and South America was very much tied to their eco-tourism (profit making) activities. So when you see where they operate, it is cherry picked countries.

Then there is the "WE Days" extravaganza that so many provincial governments and school boards bought into. There they encourage kids attending to participate in fundraising projects for I guess their overseas operations or volunteer to work at their overseas operations. But as the "WE Days" grew in support and funding, they seem to have marketed the whole "experience" as a motivational event that would cover all sorts of teen issues including mental health. Chris Hadfield probably spoke about dreaming big and "reaching for the stars", Jully Black probably spoke about her strong faith and commitment to good causes, and Margaret Kemper/Trudeau spoke about dealing with mental illness. As far as I know, Jully Black claims that she was never paid to speak and thought that that was the deal for all motivational speakers that participated at WE Day events.

Nonetheless, other than having her memoir published around the same time she was doing speaking engagements, I agree that her inclusiion in the WE Days events seems mysterious and dissonant with what might appeal to 12 to 18 year old audiences.

And that is the other thing that gets in my craw. The Kielburger brothers were not working with post-secondary student in any of their "programming" and yet the proposed subsidized volunteerism program was targeted to students who needed to make money for their post-secondary school tuitions. How anyone could think the "WE World" was the only outfit in the country able to administer the program is beyond credibility (and it should have been for saner people sitting around various decision-making tables).

Misfit Misfit's picture

Speaking of We expenses being paid to motivational speakers, here is an excerpt from Canadaland's findings.



Celebrities donate their time when they appear at WE Day, but stars still have expenses. Some are revealed in a WE budget obtained by Canadaland. WE Charity said these costs are completely covered by corporate sponsors or TV ad revenue, and “the funds could not have been used for any other purpose.”


Jennifer Lopez: $250,000

“Flat fee” to cover costs, WE Day Vancouver, 2014


Kendrick Lamar: $55,000

Private flight, WE Day Toronto, 2014 


Mikhail Gorbachev: $4,700

Hotel bill (with entourage), WE Day Manitoba, 2012



Boundaries Were Crossed All the Time”

WE’s emphasis on keeping overhead low and costs to a minimum sometimes had an impact on employee safety, according to former employees.

A former outreach coordinator who left WE in 2009 would use her own car to travel to different schools in Ontario to give speeches for WE. She said that the organization would not pay for her to sleep in a hotel, so she would often make a trip to another city as far as four and a half hours away, deliver a speech, and drive home, all in the same day.

I have almost fallen asleep at the wheel multiple times,” she recalled. “I had to pull over and take quick naps on the side of the road because I couldn’t continue.”

Another time, she slept on the couch of a teacher who worked at a school she was visiting.

We would go, go go,” she said. “If you didn’t, you’d feel guilty…The mission was so important.”

WE Charity executive director Al-Waheidi told Canadaland in a statement that “the concept of billeting at the homes of local teachers and supporters is commonplace among many non-profits seeking to be as efficient as possible with scar[c]e resources, nonetheless this practice was ended 10 years ago.” WE also said that more than a decade ago, they implemented a policy to reimburse employees for travel expenses when workers need to pay to get home for safety purposes.

According to one former volunteer, the practice of WE employees and volunteers lending each other a couch when needed had at least one bad outcome.

In 2010, an 18-year-old who was volunteering for WE at the time let a WE motivational speaker crash in her Vancouver dorm room for several nights, after he requested accommodation between work engagements. She claimed that he sexually harassed her during his visit.

“A question I ask myself now,” she said in a recent email to Canadaland, “is, why did he need to ask to stay with me?”

“But I was 18,” she continued, “and I probably didn’t question it because ME to WE/Free The Children was already this weird organization where boundaries were crossed all the time. I didn’t have other professional experience to understand that it wasn’t normal. Or that it would be dangerous for me as a young girl to welcome an older male staffer into my residence.”

Canadaland contacted the former WE speaker. He denied any allegation of sexual harassment, and said, “Although I feel strongly on this matter, I also respect that I cannot understand how others view matters, and if anyone ever felt that I did anything inappropriate, then I sincerely apologize to them.”


edit to add...

This is a digression from expenses but the apology and explanation from this We Charity motivational speaker about alleged sexual harassment sounds eerily similar to Justin Trudeau's alleged groping apology/explanation.

Here is Justin Trudeau's public statement.

"I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently," he said. "If I apologized later then it would be because I sensed that she was not entirely comfortable with the interaction we had.""

With both situations, the problem wasn't with the males allegedly doing anything. The women simply perceived that something happened which didn't.


When it Comes to WE, There Are Unanswered Questions that Go Beyond Politics

"...Their announcement appears to be largely a public relations manoeuvre to change the focus on the numerous ongoing investigations of them,' said lawyer Mark Blumberg, who specializes in Canadian charity law. 'The announcement raises more questions than it answers, which is very unfortunate.' Meanwhile, on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he regretted not recusing himself from discussions about the grant program, but denied there had been a conflict of interest..."


Freeland, Vance and Several Officials Barred From Official Dealings With Ex-Ambassador

"Canada's ethics commissioner has ordered 9 senior officials to have no official dealings with David MacNaughton after his office found the former ambassador to the US broke the Conflict of Interest Act..."


John Ivison: It's Surprising that David MacNaughton had an Ethics Violation, But Little Surprise He's a Liberal

"The public perception is that it is the Liberals who bail out their wealthy friends - an impression that MacNaughton's behaviour will help cement.."


And the Liberals get more popular by the day. They are entering majority territory. How can it be that all these scandals are doing nothing to harm the Liberals electorally?


Probably the awful alternatives...


Trudeau Liberals Continue to Defy WE Charity Hearings Investigation into $750,000 Given to Trudeau Family

"A cabinet filibuster has now blocked disclosure of corporate sponsorship fees paid to the Trudeau family for its second week according to Blacklock's Reporter. NDP MP Charlie Angus called the process of delaying the vote, 'ridiculous and completely out of order..."


Government survives confidence motion. Spared another useless election.