Responses made publicly available on WE Charity’s website
TORONTO–In anticipation of the Finance Committee resuming its study of WE Charity, and in fulfilment of undertakings from its previous study, WE Charity is providing information and documents requested during its witness testimony at FINA on July 28 and August 13, 2020. The study dealt with the Canada Student Service Grant (“CSSG”), and WE’s commitment to supporting Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic. The submission addresses each of the requests identified in the list prepared by the Library of Parliament and provided by The Honourable Pierre Poilievre on August 30, 2020.
These submissions include information about the Morneau-McCain family’s trips to Kenya and Ecuador, and communications between WE staff and Ministers and Ministerial staff, which overlap with communications previously released to the Committee by the Government of Canada. Also included in the submission is the total amount of expenses, travel costs and fees paid to members of the Trudeau family for their various engagements with WE Charity.
Today’s release of documents further emphasizes WE Charity’s commitment to providing transparent and factual information about the CSSG program. Further, in the interest of complete transparency, WE has taken the additional step of posting the responses to committee to the WE Media Centre website, accessible here. Communications between WE Charity and the government will be posted after the committee has reviewed them to ensure respect of its privacy protocols.
The release of the undertakings also reveals that Craig and Marc Kielburger were accurate in their testimony to the committee when indicating that the government initiated the program with WE Charity, that it was a government bureaucrat who contacted the charity to ask for the submission of a proposal, and further, that at no point did WE Charity stand to profit from the program. These revelations further confirm that WE Charity was not incentivised by money but motivated by its overarching mandate to support Canadians and promote community and volunteerism across the country.
Over the last 25 years, WE Charity has had an enormous impact on Canadians from coast to coast and around the world. In Canada, WE Charity grew to be active in 7,000 Canadian schools with more than one million Canadian students attending WE Day celebrations of service by earning their entry through volunteering and fundraising for over 3,000 charitable causes each year. Internationally, WE Charity built 1,500 schools and schoolrooms so 200,000 children could receive an education. It helped 30,000 women establish their own businesses and provided one million people with clean drinking water.
WE Charity deeply regrets that, due to the negative impact of COVID-19 and the political fallout from the CSSG, it will no longer be able to fulfil this mandate to its previous extent. As announced on September 9, 2020, an endowment fund has been created to sustain as many projects as possible both at home and abroad, to ensure that the valuable legacy of WE Charity is not lost for future generations.