October 24, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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WE Charity shut down operations in Canada following a student grant scandal

WE Charity shut down operations in Canada following a student grant scandal

After months in the political spotlight and being questioned about its role in the summer student grant deal, WE Charity is closing its operations in Canada.

The charity, like many other nonprofits in the country, is facing a cash crunch as donations plunge due to the epidemic. In the midst of the political scandal over the student grant contract we found it “sick” to fight.

Fundraising from a failed attempt to maintain a $ 912 million cooperation agreement on behalf of the federal government has been difficult and “the financial math for the charity’s future is clear,” the charity said in a press release.

“Through decisive action to preserve our savings, sell our assets and establish an endowment, we look forward to continuing our long-term global projects such as hospital, college and agricultural learning center that meet the critical needs of children and families,” said Craig Kielberger, co-founder of the charity.

The scandal has raised questions about the charity’s close relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family; After Trudeau was first elected in 2015, the charity paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the prime minister’s mother and brother to speak at WE-related events. This has led to questions about its complex corporate structure and extensive real estate holdings.

Co-founders Craig (left) and Mark Keelberger introduced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregor-Trudeau during the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. (Adrian Wilde / The Canadian Press)

In July, major corporate partners such as RBC Royal Bank, Telus and UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic gave signs that they would Ending their long-term funding relationship With a charity called “Free the Children” which started in the 1990s. As a result, the band discontinued all future plans for productions such as WE Day events and Star-studded concerts.

It said Wednesday it had no cash on hand to fund projects it supports worldwide. Many have now lost contact with its sponsors.

The WE said it would liquidate some of its assets to create an endowment fund to support ongoing projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The charity said it would sell the “real estate” in Toronto, along with the “Global Learning Center”, to fund those projects.

In fact all the activities of the charities in Canada are coming to an end. The charity said it no longer provided educational resources to teachers or hired “youth service coaches”.

“We are saddened by these developments. This year marks the 25th anniversary of WE Charity Canada. We planned to launch the endowment this year, but this is not the case,” said other co-founder Mark Keelberger.

After handling the real estate liquidation, the Kielberger brothers both said they would leave the WE charity.

The liquidation comes just days after the company repaid all the money it received from the federal government to run an unfortunate student grant program that would have to pair university students with volunteer opportunities over the summer. A spokesman for the young minister, Bardish Chagar, confirmed last week that we had repaid $ 30 million.

WE Charity won a contract worth .53.5.5 million to run the student volunteer grant program. Trudeau and then-Finance Minister Bill Mornie did not withdraw from cabinet talks on the deal, although both have family ties to the company. Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is investigating the actions of Trudeau and Mornia.

A spokesman for the commissioner said the latest developments would have no impact on his investigation.

“While today’s announcement about WE Charity is an interesting one, it does not determine the outcome. Commissioner Dion focused on the ongoing tests,” the spokesman said.

The Federal Conservatives are urging the WE to release a series of papers promising to hand over the Toronto – based youth organization to the House of Commons committee before Prime Minister Trudeau promotes parliament. Today, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole again called on the WE to “release the documents immediately.”

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