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.
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:
To review Matt Torigian’s full report click HERE.
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.
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.