Three Conservative MPs are calling for an emergency meeting to discuss Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to give WE Charity a sole-sourced contract for the Canada Student Service Grant as well as other sole-source contracts the Liberal government has given the organization.
Kelly Block, Kelly McCauley, and Ziad Aboultaif, all members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, sent a letter on July 7 to the chair of the committee requesting the emergency meeting.
“Canadians deserve to know why Justin Trudeau handed a $900 million sole-sourced contract to an organization with close ties to his family and the Liberal Party of Canada,” said Block. “While the Liberals abruptly backtracked and announced that WE Charity will no longer be managing the student grant program, there are a number of outstanding questions regarding Justin Trudeau’s claim that this charity was the ‘best and only organization able to deliver’ the program.”
At the emergency meeting, Conservative MPs intend to put forward a motion to undertake an “emergency study” into the awarding of the contract and prior contracts the federal government awarded to WE Charity. The study would also include an inquiry into why the federal public service wasn’t given the job of administering the Canada Student Service Grant.
Last week the federal ethics commissioner also launched an investigation into the Trudeau government’s now-scrapped $900-million contract with WE Charity.
Since WE Charity was announced as the manager of the $912 million grant last month, the sole-sourced deal has been criticized because of Trudeau’s close relationship with the organization, founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger. Trudeau, his wife, and his mother have all been involved in WE events and activities.
After a public backlash over the apparent conflict of interest, the Liberals announced July 3 that the Toronto-based youth organization would no longer be managing the program, and public servants will administer the pandemic-related grants instead.