Kielburgers

The Kielburgers are different too. The brothers built their charity from a cottage industry into a global movement with millions of followers by working non-stop and doing little else.

They are not guys you relax and have a beer with. It was easy for admirers to see them as visionaries, and just as easy for detractors to portray them as not being on the level. Because they are not like you and me, they must be up to something.

Kielburgers

Chapter 2

…. From the beginning, Craig and Marc were young men in a hurry. They brought the zeal and ambition of a Silicon Valley start-up to the charity sector. They wanted to generate impact through innovation and push for systemic change, and they wanted to do it at breakneck speed with as little interference as possible. Over twenty-five years, this approach led to breathtaking results, but it could also be nerve-racking. I came to understand—through the events of the past two years—that their drive to always do and deliver more is both their best asset and their Achilles heel.

Tall Poppies

The Kielburgers’ foibles, however, don’t satisfactorily explain the speed and ferocity with which they were attacked in the wake of the CSSG controversy. Instead, I believe the explanation lies in the fact that the brothers have always aroused a certain degree of suspicion and wariness. When they got caught in the crosshairs of a political scandal, that suspicion morphed into outright mistrust in many quarters.

I have never had any reason to doubt the Kielburgers’ sincerity, but in writing this book, I have tried to put my finger on why so many Canadians seemed quick to accept efforts to call their integrity into question. I think in large part it’s because the brothers sometimes come off as almost too sincere and devoted to their cause, projecting a pure-ness so excessive that it invites skepticism. People are comfortable….

Exclusive Book Content

From Chapter 5: The Storm After the Calm - Charlie Angus

It would be hard to imagine a more extreme foil for Poilievre than Charlie Angus. A punk rock musician and activist turned politician, Angus was first elected to Parliament for the Northern Ontario riding of Timmins–James Bay in 2004, the same year Poilievre became an MP.

From Chapter 5: The Storm After the Calm - Pierre Poilievre

Poilievre was first elected to Parliament for the Ottawa riding of Nepean-Carleton in 2004, when he was just twenty-five. A prominent and outspoken figure during the Stephen Harper years, he was minister for democratic reform and minister of employment and social development

From Chapter 6: Piling On - Kate Bahen

The media’s favourite commentators throughout the CSSG controversy—apart from Charlie Angus and Pierre Poilievre—were charity analyst Kate Bahen and lawyer Mark Blumberg. Both eagerly accepted their roles as the chief critics of the WE organization

From Chapter 12: Closing Doors - Justin Trudeau

Having finished his testimony and offered expressions of regret, Justin Trudeau promptly went on vacation. Removing himself from the centre of the storm was a clever strategy. In his absence, the feeding frenzy continued and journalists focused their attention back on WE.

From Chapter 6: Jesse Brown & Canadaland

WE and Brown first collided in March 2015, when he published an article alleging that the CBC had pulled a documentary about voluntourism at the last minute because it was critical of ME to WE. In fact, the documentary was simply rescheduled because it included WE Day footage

From Chapter 15: Mark Kelley – Harvey Cashore – The Fifth Estate

Just before Christmas 2020, Marc and Craig spent four hours answering questions from journalist Mark Kelley for an episode of The Fifth Estate that Kelley said would tell the entire twenty-five-year story of WE Charity.

From Chapter 2: Kielburgers

The Kielburgers are different too. The brothers built their charity from a cottage industry into a global movement with millions of followers by working non-stop and doing little else.