The true scandal is the loss of WE Charity in Canada

When WE Charity responded to a request for help from federal government bureaucrat Rachel Wernick to launch a youth program during the pandemic, a series of unfortunate events were launched that, in just 147 days, led to the heart-breaking and difficult decision to announce the wind-down of WE Charity Canada.

This was not the WE Charity Scandal. That was an unfortunate name and hashtag created by politicians and media that stuck. This was a government issue and a government decision. The government originated the idea for the program. The government led the procurement process. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister chose to participate in the cabinet vote awarding of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).

A review of the 5000+ pages of government documents released on the subject makes evident that the program idea originated with the government, during the procurement discussions multiple potential partners and service providers were considered, and that the appropriate bureaucrat approached WE Charity with a request to submit a proposal for consideration.

Watch Matt Torigian speak to his report

Matt Torigian, the former Deputy Solicitor General of Ontario, reports on his findings regarding WE Charity. Mr. Torigian was also the Chief of Police for Waterloo and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Currently he is a Distinguished Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He and his team reviewed more than 5,000 pages of emails, documents, and other relevant material released by federal government departments to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, as well more 364 documents that WE Charity provided to the Standing Committee on Finance in satisfaction of prior undertakings. He found:

  • The idea for the Canada Student Service Grant originated with the Government of Canada (not WE Charity).
  • The Government considered multiple potential venders (Shopify, Volunteer Canada, United Way etc.)
  • The Government approached WE Charity through the proper bureaucratic channel to submit a proposal.
  • The Clerk of the Privy Counsel confirmed that the proper bureaucrats recommended WE Charity

To review Matt Torigian’s full report click HERE.

Dr. Al Rosen's Report

Dr. Al Rosen, a specialist in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA-IFA) reviewed the financials of WE Charity. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a specialist in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA-IFA). He has provided expert testimony in jurisdictions across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His report also includes analysis from Froese Forensic, one of Canada’s largest independent financial investigative firms.

Read Dr. Rosen's full report HERE.

CTV News Interview

In order to ensure that accurate information about WE Charity is available to all, Craig and Marc Kielburger sat down for an hour-long in-depth interview with CTV News Anchor Lisa LaFlamme.

Craig and Marc Kielburger being interviewed by CTV news anchor Lisa LaFlamme
Craig and Marc Kielburger being interviewed by CTV news anchor Lisa LaFlamme

Timeline of events

OCTOBER 2017 Rachel Wernick (Senior Assistant Deputy Minister at ESDC) visits WE offices in Toronto and takes a tour of the WE Global Learning Centre (WE GLC). During this visit she informed WE about the Government of Canada’s Youth Service Initiative (YSI) for the first time – this was the precursor program for the government’s Canada Service Corps.

JUNE 29, 2018 WE was awarded a $887,155 grant under the Youth Service Initiative to design, test and build insights on youth engagement and service programs in-school and out-of-school.

MAY 19, 2019 At ESDC’s request, WE prepared a concept paper discussing how the Government of Canada could help create a culture of service in Canada through a national framework engaging diverse youth in service. This concept paper was shared with the Youth Secretariat and ESDC senior public servants.

The Fallacies and Facts

Read about the top 10 fallacies and facts about WE Charity and the organization's involvement in the Canada Student Service Grant HERE.

Scott Baker, WE Charity’s Chief Operating Officer answered some common questions about WE Charity in an article published in Foundation Magazine which you can read HERE.