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Ontario government ends relationship with WE Charity

Ontario government ends relationship with WE Charity
Ontario government ends relationship with WE Charity

اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:الجمعة 31 يوليو 2020 07:57 مساءً The Ontario government says it won't be continuing its relationship with the WE Charity.

A statement from the Ministry of Education released Friday evening says the ministry has been directed not to renew its contract with WE and to investigate expenditures to date.

"We are deeply concerned and troubled by the allegations against WE. This is taxpayer money. Hard working people in this province deserve to know that their money is delivering value, and these allegations raise serious questions," ministry spokesperson Alexandra Adamo wrote. 

The statement does not specify the allegations the ministry is referring to.

WE Charity has been caught in a controversy since a federal government decision to have them run a $900-million student grant program. Shortly after the Liberal government announced it was awarding the sole-source contract to WE, it came under fire from opposition parties amid allegations of a conflict of interest due to the Trudeau family's close relationship with the organization.

Neither Trudeau nor Finance Minister Bill Morneau — who also has family ties to WE — recused themselves from cabinet discussions on awarding the contract. Opposition politicians have accused the Liberal government of playing favourites and choosing to reward the charity.

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.

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. 

On July 9, it emerged that Trudeau's mother, Margaret, was paid approximately $250,000 for speaking at 28 events, while his brother, Alexandre, spoke at eight events and received about $32,000.

In testimony before MPs on July 28, WE co-founder Marc Kielburger said Margaret, Alexandre and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau were also reimbursed more than $200,000 in expenses for appearances at WE events.

Several sponsors have cut ties with the WE brand, including Royal Bank of Canada, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Good Life Fitness and Virgin Atlantic Airways, although WE called the moves a mutual agreement.

More to come

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