There are now calls for an investigation into Justin Trudeau and the WE Charity
WE Charity might have thought the controversy would go away wjhen it backed out of its duties to administer the new Canada Student Service Grant program, but the whole scandal has turned into a total debacle both for them and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It has come out that the PM's family and the family of members of his team have, over the years, received payments totalling hundreds of thousands to serve as speakers and ambassadors for the organization.
WE was due to receive at least $19.5 million for distributing nearly $1 billion in federal funds — something that Conservative politicians think that, above being a conflict of interest, actually warrants a criminal investigation.
And now our Minister of Finance also linked to profit from WE...already wealthy in both financial means and life status, @JustinTrudeau family and @Bill_Morneau family heavily profiting from a Charity is despicable.— 𝓙𝓮𝓷 𝓠𝓾𝓲𝓼𝓽 (@rjquist) July 10, 2020
MPs Michael Barrett and Pierre Poilievre said at a press briefing on Friday that they are sending a letter to the RCMP to suggest that they look into the matter. A federal Ethics Commissioner investigation is also pending.
Margaret Trudeau, Justin's mother, has been paid out some $250,000 by the organization's arms (including the for-profit ME to WE) in the last four years, while his brother Alexandre was paid somewhere around $35,000, WE admitted after initially stating there was no payment involved to these parties.
Justin's wife Sophie Gregoire has also received a speaking honorarium of $1,400.
And, as Canadaland reports, two daughters of Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau have also been linked to the charity — one as a one-time speaker, and the other as a current employee.
Margaret was paid for over 28 speaking engagements. Charities commonly pay high profile people to speak or attend events and while many 'donate' the money back for a tax receipt, it is common. Not cool that WE said they never paid for speeches, but it's hardly shocking either.— Erin Trotechaud (@CosineGirl) July 10, 2020
"The prime minister created this nearly $1-billion program and awarded it in a sole source contract to this organization. This is highly unusual because [he and his family] have direct ties to this organization," Barrett said at Friday's presser, adding that Trudeau is now under investigation for breaking the federal Conflict of Interest Act after already found guilty of doing so twice during his tenure.
"Originally we heard that there were no financial ties... but now we know that not to be true," he continued. "The Canadian Criminal Code does have a section that relates directly to this situation... and that's why it's now essential that we have a criminal investigation into this matter."
Barrett also mentioned that the principals of WE donated to Trudeau's campaign, and one of them is also an appointee to a federal commission.
Is there a connection at all to Butts or the Trudeau foundation? I think WE stinks and as a charity they are not acting like one at all, they are acting like a for profit business..... https://t.co/riIkLW1e1X— Sharon Moore (@SharonM28627721) July 10, 2020
The section of the code that Barrett is referencing, number 121, is titled "frauds on the government" and states that:
"Every one commits an offence who directly or indirectly
a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with
Speaking fees oh my! Margaret Trudeau received $250,000 in honoraria; Alexandre Trudeau was paid about $32,000#WECharity— Diana Day (@DianaDaydream) July 10, 2020
Go figure... some Charity that is. https://t.co/t4mVXSI7ti
Many people are shocked and appalled by the news, while others seem slightly less so, with some quickly coming to Margaret Trudeau's defence seeing as she has a long history of charitable involvement and that she shouldn't be entangled in her son's actions.
The charity itself is also coming under fire for allegations of racism and abuse of power (among other salacious allegations of criminal wrongdoing) that are coming to the surface from former employees.
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