Trudeau says only WE Charity can administer $900 million student grant program | CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned as of late the WE Charity is the only group able to administering greater than $900 million in grants for college students this summer season.

Speaking to newshounds all through a COVID-19 briefing, Trudeau mentioned federal public servants known WE because the group with the most productive national community for connecting younger folks to paid volunteer positions this summer season.

WE will administer the Canada Student Service Grant, which is able to supply eligible scholars with as much as $5,000 to fortify the prices of post-secondary schooling within the fall. The quantity of every grant relies on the period of time the recipient devotes to volunteer paintings.

The federal Liberal govt has been criticized for allocating this sort of massive amount of money to a 3rd birthday party that has ties to Trudeau and his spouse, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Grégoire Trudeau hosts a podcast for WE and has gave the impression at numerous their youth-oriented occasions.

The federal Conservatives are calling for an investigation of the federal government’s choice to have WE administer the program.

In a letter to Auditor General Karen Hogan, the Tories argue that “outsourcing” the Canada Student Service Grant to WE Charity undermines Parliament’s talent to watch the help program.

“The proper channels for Opposition scrutiny, the very bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, have been circumvented,” reads the letter signed through Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre, Dan Albas and Raquel Dancho.

“Indeed, it is your office that will provide the most legitimate and transparent examination of this program.”

WATCH | Trudeau says only WE Charity can administer $900 million student grant program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to newshounds outdoor Rideau Cottage on Monday. 2:51

Trudeau mentioned the government has labored with numerous charities all through the pandemic — it has given cash to the United Way to fund grassroots organizations, he mentioned, and likewise to Food Banks Canada — and there’s not anything incorrect with this new partnership with WE.

He mentioned hundreds of younger folks need to “step up and engage in their communities” and the grants will lend a hand them to do this.

Trudeau mentioned it used to be the Department of Employment and Social Development that advisable tasking WE with allotting the grants. The global charity, previously referred to as Free the Children, used to be began through human rights advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger in 1995.

“When our public servants looked at the potential partners, only the WE organization had the capacity to deliver the ambitious program that young people need for for the summer,” Trudeau mentioned.

“WE organization is the largest national youth service organization in the country. They have networks in every corner of the country and organizations that they work with.”

‘Really distressing’

Paula Speevak, is president and CEO of Volunteer Canada, which promotes volunteerism throughout the rustic. She mentioned she’s involved through the truth that those jobs are paid, including it blurs the road between volunteering and dealing for a salary.

“We felt it was really important that you don’t give the impression that you’re paid for volunteering,” Speevak mentioned.

“We don’t want people to be paid less than minimum wage and for it to be called volunteering. We wanted there to be clarity — volunteers give their time freely because of their passion or compassion.”

Speevak mentioned WE approached Volunteer Canada for lend a hand in selling the student grants program and used to be keen to pay for the gang’s help.

WE sought after to faucet Volunteer Canada’s contacts to glue scholars with organizations that wanted staff this summer season however Volunteer Canada declined WE’s be offering, Speevak mentioned.

She mentioned she has no factor with WE being the lead in this grant gadget however she worries that WE is duplicating one of the most paintings already achieved through different teams to create volunteer databases.

Volunteer Canada’s “I Want to Volunteer” platform, funded partially through the government, lets in folks to enroll to lend a hand at 156 other organizations around the nation. The CSSG platform run through the WE Charity is known as “I Want to Help.”

She mentioned the an identical names had been complicated for some customers.

“One of the things that was really distressing was that after the program was announced … we were inundated with calls and emails assuming we were involved. We had to take our phone numbers off the website,” she mentioned.

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