Understanding the WE Charity Scandal

Growing up, WE Charity was a common name to hear. In countless cities and countries, it was a popular charity to fundraise for and raised a lot of money for a variety of causes, including water resources for malnourished countries, health care for those who needed it, and so much more. In Metro Vancouver, nearly every school had a fundraiser, or even a club to support them and donated money that they would fundraise. But in late August of 2020, this came to a screeching halt as the WE Canada scandal emerged.

Over the past five or so years, the Trudeau's family had been paid to speak at varying WE charity events, including Justin Trudeau, as he already had connections with the company. The past year has hit charities and non-profits specially hard as more people are finding it tough just to take care of themselves. When the virus first emerged, the Trudeau government announced a $900-million student grant program. This was meant to connect post-secondary students with volunteer opportunities that they would later receive a grant for to make up for the lack of summer jobs caused by the pandemic. They would be given $1000-$5000 depending on how much the students worked.

Trudeau announced that WE charity would be heading up the operation which was planned to roll out smoothly, until the charity announced a somber message. They had stated that the “financial math for the charity’s future is clear.” Which clearly caused problems for the liberal government as now no one was organizing this grant and distributing the volunteer opportunities.

It was said that given the scope of the project, WE Charity was the best decision for the project, but that was quickly put into question when it became clear the relationship between the Trudeaus and WE Charity were close. WE Charity would be given $45.53 million dollars for administrating the CSSG. Because of the large sums of money the Trudeaus have been receiving from attending these events, many opposing politicians believed that Trudeau may have picked favorites, to keep the charity in business to eventually profit.

The Liberal governments response to this was that the WE Charity was the only group with countrywide connections and profundity to operate such a large-scale program, which many other charitable companies questioned. Since then, the WE Charity announced that they will be “winding down” activities in Canada, and the federal government took control of the program.

Written by Eva Ramsay

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