#CanadaLiberalGov; #WeCharity; ParnershipOnSummerStudentGrant
Ottawa, Jul 3 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Liberal Government is ending its partnership with We Charity that would have enabled the distribution of about $900 million in federal student grants this summer, media reports said.
We Charity. Image credit: Facebook page
The opposition Conservatives and a few people in the charitable sector had been criticizing Canada government's decision to outsource this work to a third-party with ties to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family.
Trudeau and his mother, Margaret, had attended a number of WE Day events, while Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast for the group called "WE Well-being."
In defence of the partnership, Trudeau said that WE, with its nationwide network, was the only group capable of distributing this kind of money to young people.
A statement from the federal government said today's move to end the partnership was "a mutually agreed upon decision."
"The Government of Canada and WE Charity will work together to ensure that the volunteers who have applied and been placed won't be adversely affected. WE Charity has also decided to return any funds that had already been received," Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger said in the statement.
"Our government's objective remains to connect the skills and abilities of young people with service opportunities to help heal their communities."
Started by youth advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger in 1995, We Charity was picked by bureaucrats to administer the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).
Eligible students receive, through this grant, up to $5,000 each to help cover the cost of post-secondary education this fall. The size of each grant depends on the amount of time the recipient devotes to volunteer work.
In a statement, WE Charity said the crticism of WE's involvement has not stopped
"The program has also been enmeshed in controversy from the moment of its announcement," the statement reads.
"Our concern is that to continue in this way, the program itself will begin to suffer – and as a consequence, opportunities for students might be negatively affected. Not only would that be unwelcome, it is unnecessary."
WE promised to return in full any federal funds earmarked for WE to administer the grant to the government."
Ottawa is examining all options to ensure students, not-for-profits, and communities continue to be supported throughout the pandemic, said Chagger.