“It is mind-boggling to me that in addition to failing to recuse themselves, both Trudeau and Morneau did not ask, did not care, or did not perceive how a sole-source contract might appear”

As Posted In the National Post

In the early days of the global pandemic, the Trudeau government wanted to provide students with an opportunity to work during the summer while helping their communities. It announced that the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) was to be administered by The WE Charity, part of a well-known organization founded by Toronto brothers Craig and Mark Kielburger. A political maelstrom ensued, leading to the closing of The WE Charity in Canada. In the new book What We Lost, author Tawfiq Rangwala, a Toronto-born lawyer who was on WE Charity’s board, writes that the CSSG announcement came as a shock to WE management and board, as they hadn’t even signed a contract and there were many details to be ironed out. The following is an excerpt from the book.

At a press briefing on July 8, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked by Marieke Walsh of the Globe and Mail if he had recused himself from cabinet discussions about WE Charity and the CSSG. He said no. Then he dodged the question when asked why. “I have long worked on youth issues, both before I got into politics and since I’ve been in politics as a youth critic,” he said. “Getting young people involved in serving their country, recognizing their desire to build a better Canada, particularly through this time of crisis, is something that I believe in deeply.”

 Just two days later, the CBC ran a story revealing that Finance Minister Bill Morneau had also failed to recuse himself from conversations about the organization.