July 12, 2020

The Queens County Citizen

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Conservatives ask auditor general to probe ‘outsourcing’ of $900M scholar assist method

Conservatives ask auditor general to probe 'outsourcing' of $900M student aid program

The federal Conservatives are contacting for an investigation into the Liberal government’s conclusion to have an international charity administer a $900-million method created to help college students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ask for is contained in a letter sent to Auditor General Karen Hogan on Sunday in which the Tories argue that “outsourcing” the Canada Student Support Grant to WE Charity undermines Parliament’s capacity to monitor the aid method.

The Conservatives also pointed out the “very well documented” connections between WE and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they underscored the great importance of transparency, accountability and benefit for funds in Ottawa’s COVID-19 investing.

“By outsourcing this application to a 3rd bash, the proper channels for Opposition scrutiny, the very bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, have been circumvented,” reads the letter signed by Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre, Dan Albas and Raquel Dancho.

“Indeed, it is your workplace that will give the most authentic and transparent assessment of this method.”

The auditor general’s office did not instantly reply to requests for comment on Sunday.

Student volunteer plan to assist 20,000 younger persons

The Liberal govt declared the Canada Scholar Service Grant last week as portion of a broader suite of support for college students and youthful persons battling to discover internships, work placements and other operate-connected knowledge during COVID-19.

Eligible college students can generate up to $5,000 for volunteer perform with non-financial gain corporations that are assisting to cushion the influence of the pandemic. The plan is meant to position up to 20,000 learners in volunteer positions involving now and October.

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WATCH  | Prime Minister Trudeau is questioned about charity deal: 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters from the Significant Rig Brewery in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata. :48

Trudeau defended employing WE to administer the program soon after conflict-of-fascination problems had been raised very last week. The key minister attended quite a few WE activities in the past and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, hosts a single of its podcasts.

The key minister explained the selection to use WE was built by the non-partisan general public assistance, not by him. Shipping and delivery of the grant system demanded an corporation ready to get to the tens of countless numbers of pupils, he reported.

WE directed questions Friday to the governing administration.

Tories want review of all COVID-19 spending

The Conservatives want Hogan to incorporate her examine of WE and the scholar assist method into her much larger evaluation of the government’s pandemic-relevant paying, which is predicted to be tabled in Parliament later on this yr.

Direct federal expending on emergency assist actions now stands at $174 billion, the government introduced Friday, driven by a jump in the approximated price tag of the Canada Unexpected emergency Reaction Advantage to $80 billion.

That is up from the previously revised $60 billion and a lot more than double the initial $35-billion estimate, as demand from customers rises and recipients get ready to obtain eight more months of payments.

Stats Canada’s newest employment report confirmed that returning put up-secondary college students, aged 20 to 24, had a file-significant unemployment amount in May possibly of 42.1 per cent, and about just one-3rd had witnessed summer placements disappear mainly because of COVID-19.

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Info launched Friday by the agency also identified that youths in the so-termed Net era were being the most most likely to formally volunteer. They contributed on normal 82 unpaid hours to charities in 2018 and experienced a volunteer level of 52 for every cent.