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Ontario cuts ties with WE Charity, citing “serious questions” over scandal allegations

Among those who have already terminated their relationship with WE are GoodLife Fitness, Royal Bank of Canada and Loblaws.

The Government of Ontario has announced it will be cutting ties with WE, the now-infamous organization enveloped in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s third ethics scandal. 

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that his ministry will not renew existing contracts with the group and will review all past expenditures. 

“This is taxpayer money. Hard working people in this province deserve to know that their money is delivering value, and these allegations raise serious questions,” said a statement by Lecce. 

The province of Ontario is the latest entity to end sponsorships or contracts with the organization run by Marc and Craig Kielburger. 

Among those who have already terminated their relationship with WE are GoodLife Fitness, Royal Bank of Canada and Loblaws.

Earlier this week, the Kielburgers testified before the House of Commons Finance committee about WE’s involvement with the $900 million Canada Student Service Grant program. WE Charity was awarded management of the grant earlier this month, despite the organization’s extensive ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family. 

Among those implicated in the scandal include Trudeau’s wife, mother and brother, as well as Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who accepted thousands of dollars worth of trips to Ecuador and Kenya in 2017. 

Morneau has since paid WE Charity $41,366 to compensate for his family’s trips, and has apologized several times to the public. 

On Thursday, Trudeau and his Chief of Staff Katie Telford appeared before the Finance Committee to provide testimony.

During his testimony, the prime minister asserted that the civil service was responsible for the decision to pick the charity as the grant recipient, not him. 

“There was never any direction by or attempt to influence from me or my staff that the public service recommend WE Charity,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau also denied having any personal friendship with the Kielburgers despite his family’s close involvement with their organization.

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