Story 2 – WE Charity Scandal

Story 2 – WE Charity Scandal

For the second year in a row, a political scandal involving the Liberal Party makes our top 10 stories of the year. Last year it was the SNC-Lavalin ordeal, this year, WE Charity. WE was awarded a later-cancelled $19.5 million no-bid contract to oversee a government funded student-volunteer program worth more than $900 million. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family ties to the charity later came to light, his mother and brother both previously having been paid fees to speak at WE events. Questions as to the propriety of Trudeau’s involvement in the contract decision and the process itself swirled.

Trudeau was called to testify in front of the House of Commons standing committee on finance to discuss his role in the decision-making process, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, after revealing that he had forgotten to pay back more than $40,000 in travel expenditures covered by WE, stepped down to “pursue other opportunities”, though critics questioned the timing of this announcement. An ethics investigation remains ongoing and WE has since closed its Canadian operations in the fallout from the controversy. The Angus Reid Institute covered multiple angles of the scandal, including whether the truth was told, how it affected Trudeau’s approval, and the impact it has had on views of Canadian charities more broadly.

Impact on Justin Trudeau and Views of the Scandal:

Impact on Charities in Canada:

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