We Charity shuts down Canadian operations after scandal

A charity, with a branch in Kenya, that has been a key player in a scandal involving Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau (pictured), says it will no longer operate in the country.

In a press release, WE Charity announced it would be “winding down the organization’s operations in Canada”.

The charity’s co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, will also leave the organisation.

WE was under the spotlight after it was picked to run the Canada Student Service Grant, a summer programme.

The C$900m (Sh73 billion) volunteer initiative was supposed to help students who were out of their summer jobs because of the pandemic.

ALSO READ: WE Charity Suspicious Activities That Should Get The Attention Of Kenyan Authorities

It later emerged that Mr Trudeau’s mother and brother had been paid for speaking at various WE events over the years.

Mr Trudeau is facing the third ethics investigation of his five years in office over the government’s decision to task WE with administering the programme.

In its release, WE said it was ending its Canadian operations because of Covid-19 disruptions and because the “fallout from the Canada Student Service Grant has placed the charity in the middle of political battles and misinformation that a charity is ill-equipped to fight”.

The charity says it will layoff its Canadian staff and sell off its assets to fund an endowment to help complete existing international humanitarian projects and digitise its Canadian educational resources.

The Kielburger brothers co-founded the charity in their parents’ home in Ontario when Craig was 12 years old. The pair have achieved celebrity status in their home country, and appeared on television programmes like Oprah and 60 Minutes.

The charity’s WE Day motivational conferences frequently featured celebrity speakers like Idris Elba.

But many criticised the government’s awarding of such a large contract to a private organisation. WE Charity Canada would have received up to C$43.5m (Sh3. 5 billion) to manage the C$900m (Sh73 billion) programme under that agreement.

Criticism intensified after it was revealed that Mr Trudeau’s mother and brother had been paid to speak at the charity’s events. Mr Trudeau’s then-finance minister, Bill Morneau, also had family ties to the organisation and the charity partly paid for his family to go on two of its service trips.

Mr Morneau said he recently realised he had not paid C$41,000 (Sh3.3 million) in related travel expenses for those visits and has since paid them back.

Fears that WE Charity might escape punishment

He resigned in August from the finance job and as a member of Parliament amid pressure from opposition parties over the matter and amid reports of tensions between him and Mr Trudeau over the path forward for Canada’s pandemic-battered economy.

Mr Trudeau temporarily suspended parliament last month after Mr Morneau’s resignation, to work on a new economic recovery plan for Covid-19, which effectively shut down committee meetings into the WE controversy.

Would you like to get published on this Popular Blog? You can now email Cyprian Nyakundi any breaking news, Exposes, story ideas, human interest articles or interesting videos on: Videos and pictures can be sent to +254 710 280 973 on WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.



Click to comment

You May Also Like


Popular wine and dine joint, The Bar Next Door (BND) situated along Othaya Road, in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, is the latest trending topic on social...


Punit Shah son of Kamal shah has been scammed Ksh. 3 Million by a slay queen who threatened to expose a sex tape and...


A day after government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna cautioned a group of politicians led by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed against issuing statements that could...


Hi Cyprian, Thank you for the good job you are doing I would like to bring to your attention about the negative developments and...

Copyright © 2021 Cyprian Is Nyakundi.

Exit mobile version