WE Charity founders Craig and Marc Kielburger will appear before a House of Commons committee next week to answer questions about the Liberal government’s partnership with the charity in a $900-million student grant program it was tasked with administering.
“A lot of things have been written and said about WE Charity over the last few weeks,” Craig Kielburger said in a statement. “We look forward to an opportunity to talk directly to Canadians and set the record straight.”
The House finance committee voted July 7 to hold four meetings to dig into how WE Charity entered a contribution agreement with the government to administer the student grant program.
The Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) program provides eligible students with up to $5,000 for volunteer work that they can put toward their education in the fall.
“Both Craig and I look forward to speaking about the work of WE Charity to assist with delivering the CSSG, under oath,” said Marc who will appear with his brother at 1:00 p.m. ET on July 28.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government have been under fire since announcing the program and the contract with WE Charity late last month because of the charity’s association with the Trudeau family.
Trudeau and his mother, Margaret, have appeared at a number of WE Day events, while Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast for the group called “WE Well-being.”
Payments to Trudeau family
Initially, WE Charity said members of the Trudeau family were not paid for appearing at WE events, although Grégoire Trudeau had been reimbursed for travel expenses.
Late last week, it emerged that Margaret Trudeau was paid approximately $250,000 for speaking at 28 events, while the PM’s brother Alexandre spoke at eight events and received about $32,000.
The deal between WE Charity and the federal government has since been dissolved but the controversy over Trudeau’s role in the contract continues to haunt his government.
Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger revealed to the committee last week that WE Charity stood to earn $43.53 million by administering the program.
Initially, the federal government said WE Charity would get $19.5 million, with $5 million of that going toward not-for-profits to help them with administration costs. The first payment to WE Charity was intended to create 20,000 volunteer placements.
Chagger said last week that an additional $10.5 million would have been made available to WE to help smaller not-for-profits participate in the program, and another $13.53 million would have been given to WE to create an additional 20,000 volunteer placements, if necessary.