The demise of WE’s Canadian operations won’t take the heat off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his government’s decision to hire the charity to run a now-defunct student volunteer program.
NDP MP Charlie Angus says WE’s announcement Wednesday that it is shuttering its Canadian operations only underscores the lack of due diligence done by the government before handing administration of the program over to an organization that was evidently in financial distress.
Two months before the government gave the contract to WE in late June, Angus notes that the organization had laid off hundreds of staff and replaced almost its entire board of directors, which had been denied access to the charity’s financial reports.
Angus says WE was “desperate” and cashed in on its connections to Trudeau, his family and his former finance minister, Bill Morneau, to persuade them to pay the organization to run the student service grant program.
Trudeau himself has been a featured speaker at half a dozen WE events and his wife, mother and brother have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years in expenses and speaking fees.