Tawfiq Rangwala speaking holding a book

Press Release – What WE Lost Book Launch

May 2, 2022

Toronto, Ontario Press Release
Under embargo until May 5

A new take on the “WE Charity Scandal” with never before heard interviews, information and accounts that finally reveal the untold story.

Optimum Publishing International releases What We Lost: Inside the Attack on Canada’s Largest Children’s Charity

Trending on National Post today with an exclusive excerpt:

Author: Tawfiq Rangwala

Foreword: The Right Honourable Kim Campbell AudioBook: Narrated by Martin Luther King III Book Launch: May 5 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Go to www.whatwelostbook.com to register for the event.

“If you bought into the negative narrative about WE Charity, I challenge you to read this book.”
–The Right Honourable Kim Campbell

“I believe in justice, that’s why I was shocked by what happened to WE Charity. It is why I did the audiobook and why you should listen to it”
– Martin Luther King III

What Does This Book Cover:

This book is full of surprises and reveals the true story that the media refused to
It calls out politicians who used WE Charity to further their own partisan
It dedicates an entire chapter to reporting on WE Charity by the CBC’s The Fifth
It identifies who really lost in the end, and the real victims of the WE Charity
It openly addresses criticisms of the charity’s co-founders, the Kielburgers, and reveals missteps and takes stock.
This book is a fact-based, inside account from respected lawyer and former WE Charity board member, Tawfiq Rangwala, who stepped down from the board to author this book and takes readers behind the scenes. The mission: to cut through the headline-grabbing controversies and offer a sober perspective on what really happened, why it happened, who was responsible, and who really paid the price. Rangwala states: “I did not write this book to convince anyone to feel a certain way. I wrote it so the public can finally form a view based on all the facts, and then can fairly judge who really was scandalized and who did the scandalizing.”

Importantly, this book is not a blind defence of WE Charity or the Kielburgers. “They made mistakes, there is blame to be shared, and I do not shy away from revealing the missteps and taking stock.” – Exerpt from What We Lost


In April 2020, the Government of Canada contacted WE Charity to help deliver the Canada Student Service Grant program, which was designed to encourage youth to volunteer with non- profit organizations. WE Charity answered a call to help in the middle of a pandemic, only to be later hung out to dry by politicians of all parties and the media.

But what really happened?

Were the headlines and political soundbites accurate?

Is there more to the story than the narrative suggested by sensationalist headlines?

In What We Lost, author Tawfiq Rangwala uses an evidence-based approach that draws upon first-hand accounts, exclusive interviews, and never-before-published documents to take readers through the untold story that became known as the “WE Charity Scandal”.

Rangwala reveals how Canadian politics have become more vicious and divided than ever, and how politicians like the NDP’s Charlie Angus and Conservative Pierre Poilievre destroyed a homegrown children’s charity for political gain. Rangwala also takes aim at select news organizations that seemed content to peddle misinformation and half-truths in a never-ending pursuit of clicks, likes and shares. It was a scandal whose real casualties—the millions of people the charity served in Canada and worldwide—have yet to be tallied.

“We all know that at the end of the day, politics can be a dirty game. What makes this situation different, though, is that politicians—aided in part by the media—allowed the game to spiral out of control, and in the process, a lot of non-elected people got hurt … Our representatives … need to be held to account for their failure to even acknowledge the damage they caused,” writes Rangwala.

Comparing media reports with the actual evidence—including third-party reviews by some of Canada’s foremost forensic auditors—this book presents readers with shocking information that was until now missed, ignored or hidden from the public. And in doing so the book raises important questions about the media and its relationship with both politics and the truth, as well as the ever-increasing influence of social media in shaping narratives (particularly false ones).

Above all, the reader will finally hear countless voices that were ignored and excluded throughout the scandal: students, teachers, donors, and underprivileged people in countries like Kenya who were key beneficiaries of WE Charity’s work. Hear their stories, and then decide for yourself how you really feel about the WE Charity Scandal and its costs.

“The WE Charity Scandal is a story of how misinformation can take on a life of its own. The results were tragic, and the hardest hit were young people,” said former Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

Book Details

Published in trade paperback and hardcover editions: 6 x 9, 444 pages, $26.95.
Martin Luther King III narrates the audiobook (along with narration of the Foreword by The Right Honourable Kim Campbell).
Includes a 16-page full-colour photo section documenting the history of WE Charity and the key events that transpired during the WE Charity Scandal.
For radio, newspaper, or TV interviews with the author and additional information, please contact Shayna Haddon 416-841-1045 shaynah@opibooks.com.


Tawfiq Rangwala was born and raised in Toronto. He earned his undergraduate degree from McGill University and his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He moved to New York in 2002 to start his career at Milbank LLP, and is a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Arbitration Group. Mr. Rangwala specializes in representing companies and individuals facing investigations by government authorities, conducting sensitive internal investigations across various industries, and litigating and arbitrating a wide range of commercial disputes. He frequently speaks and writes about white-collar defence and government investigations, securities litigation, international arbitration, and issues relating to cybersecurity and technology disputes. Mr. Rangwala serves as the Chair of Milbank’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and serves on the board of Legal Services NYC. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to pro bono work, leading high-profile cases involving systemic discrimination and wrongful convictions. He was named Chambers & Partners’ North American Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2021.

OPTIMUM PUBLISHING INTERNATIONAL has been publishing award-winning, cutting- edge books since the 1970s. Its backlist of more than 350 titles includes bestsellers from such celebrated authors as Margaret Trudeau, Greg Clark, Margo Oliver, Fred Brummer, William

Sears and Don Johnston, Patrick Brown, and Sam Cooper. Optimum continues to publish critical and timely books on international and national politics, true crime, and social and political justice, including the explosive 2018 bestseller Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown and James Buddy Day’s Hippie Cult Leader: The Last Words of Charles Manson. In 2020, Optimum published Hidden Hand, How the Chinese Communist Party s Reshaping the World, followed by last year’s bestseller Wilful Blindness by Sam Cooper.