The charity hand-picked by the Trudeau government to oversee the distribution of $900-million in student grants is offering 450 student-volunteer placements at their own organization.
WE Charity has been the subject of public and political scrutiny after it was revealed that the organization, which has numerous connections to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was awarded the massive federal grant program.
Among the hundreds of “virtual volunteering” positions offered under the new grant are 200 spots on WE Charity’s Social Entrepreneurship Innovation Lab as well as 250 positions as a Wellbeing Digital Resource Creator with the group.
“Volunteers will volunteer on projects creating digital content and educational resources to help foster resiliency, reduce stigma, increase personal connections and build community despite the challenges of physical distancing,” claims the job postings.
Earlier this week, a recorded conference call revealed the organization’s co-founder Marc Kielburger contradicted earlier claims made by Trudeau. Trudeau claimed that the Department of Employment and Social Development was responsible for the decision.
However, the recorded call dated June 12 purports to show Kielburger telling others that the PMO had reached out to him only a day after the grant was publicly announced.
“So myself, my team… had all watched this [announcement], and the next day, the Prime Minister’s Office kindly called us and said, ‘you know that announcement we just made? Would you be interested in helping us actually implement it?’,” said Kielburger in the recording of the call obtained by National Post.
“So after much consideration, we put up our hand and said, of course, we’re happy to be of assistance. This is really important at an important time.”
He has since retracted his comments, claiming that he had misspoken at the time.
“I incorrectly referred to the Prime Minister’s Office. In fact, the outreach came from unelected officials at Employment and Social Development Canada,” Kielburger later claimed.
Both Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau have worked with the group in the past.
The Conservatives have accused the Liberals of cronyism in its handling of the sole-sources contract. Earlier today, the official opposition sent a letter to the federal procurement ombudsman Alexander Jeglic, asking that he review the circumstances around the contract as well as five other deals between the Liberals and the organization.