Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at present defended the federal government’s resolution to enlist a Toronto-based charity with shut ties to his household to manage its scholar volunteer program, saying the WE Charity is the one group able to executing a nationwide program at this scale.
Chatting with reporters from a Kanata, Ont., brewery, Trudeau mentioned the general public service concluded that WE has the sources and community in place by means of its present actions that can enable it to attach hundreds of scholars searching for volunteer alternatives with organizations throughout the nation.
“We have launched a particularly bold program to get younger folks serving of their communities,” mentioned Trudeau.
“The WE group is the one group in Canada that has the size and the flexibility to ship volunteer alternatives for younger folks proper throughout the nation in any respect ranges of organizations.”
The Canada Pupil Service Grant program, introduced yesterday, will present post-secondary and up to date graduates with money grants in alternate for hours spent volunteering with non-profit organizations. This system targets college students hoping to save lots of for his or her post-secondary schooling who’re having bother discovering summer time jobs as a result of pandemic-induced financial slowdown.
WATCH: Trudeau questioned about contracting WE Charity to run COVID scholar volunteer program
The grant can be value between $1,000 and $5,000, relying on the variety of hours accomplished. For each 100 hours labored, a scholar is eligible for $1,000, which implies somebody should volunteer 500 hours to obtain the complete grant.
The federal government has pledged $912 million for this system, however it’s not clear how a lot WE Charity will obtain. Trudeau mentioned WE Charity will not make a revenue however can be paid to manage this system.
Requested about battle of curiosity
The prime minister and a number of other members of his household have participated in WE occasions previously.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Trudeau’s spouse, is an “ambassador and ally” for the group and hosts a podcast in affiliation with WE centered on psychological well being points.
Grégoire Trudeau and Trudeau’s mom, Margaret, attended a star-studded occasion at Wembley Area in London, U.Ok. in March of this yr, shortly earlier than Grégoire Trudeau introduced she had examined optimistic for COVID-19.
Trudeau himself has been a frequent visitor speaker at WE Day, an annual occasion that pulls hundreds of younger folks.
“I’ve labored with WE previously as a result of I consider strongly in selling alternatives for younger folks,” mentioned Trudeau in response to a query from CBC Information about whether or not the he’s in a battle of curiosity due to his household’s shut ties to the charity.
“I’ll proceed to take action, as will my household.”
WE Charity mentioned in an announcement to CBC Information members of the Trudeau household do not obtain any look charges or honoraria after they seem at WE occasions. Grégoire Trudeau has been reimbursed for journey bills associated to her volunteer work with the group.
The Battle of Curiosity Act bars public workplace holders and their relations from accepting items which may be seen to affect them as they train of their duties.
A spokesperson for the Workplace of the Battle of Curiosity and Ethics Commissioner mentioned in an announcement to CBC Information that, in lots of instances, free journey could be thought of a present below the act.
“A present can’t be accepted by the general public workplace holder or a member of their household if it will moderately be seen to have been given to affect the general public workplace holder (on this case the Prime Minister) within the train of his official energy, obligation or operate,” the assertion mentioned.
The act requires politicians to declare any items they or their relations have obtained.