With pledges been taken that a controversial federal student grant program which is run by the WE Charity Foundation would offer nearly a billion dollars to Canadian youth for volunteer work, it seems that the terms of the agreement were formulated with a different plan in mind. According to the agreement, the plan has been made to spend roughly half of that.
As per the documents that were filed with the House of Commons finance committee on Monday, for the first time, the wording of the controversial sole-sourced agreement has been revealed. However, it did not explain the ongoing discrepancy between what the public was told would be spent and what pledges the deal had actually laid out for them.
It has come to notice that the funding agreement present between the Canadian Government and the WE Charity Foundation states that Ottawa would commit a total and a maximum amount of up to $543.5 million.
Out of the total amount, $500 million was set to go to the students and the rest $43.5 million would be handed to the WE Charity Foundation for administering the program. But due to certain conflicts of interest and other concerns, the plan has now been canceled.
Family members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have received thousands of dollars in speaking fees from the WE Charity while Finance Minister, Bill Morneau’s both the daughters hold ties to the organization, one as a speaker and the other as an employee.
Neither Trudeau nor Morneau has excused themselves from the cabinet discussions regarding the deal but however, both of them have stated that it was a mistake and are currently under the investigation by the ethics commissioner.
The documents thereby stated that the amount of $500 million was assigned for the students who were to be broken up across three units of student volunteers, with the first unit receiving up to a maximum amount of $100 million in form of volunteer grants that would further depend on their specific working hours and also their eligibility.
The other units, which were somehow, not guaranteed to take place would receive a maximum amount of $100 million and $300 million each.
Furthermore, the WE Charity Foundation, which is a real estate holding arm of the controversial WE Charity would in turn receive tens of millions of dollars in return of just administering the program.
As per the notes stated on the wording of the agreement provided by the WE Charity to the media, the time when the agreement was signed, the government had paid out the first installment which is $19.5 million.
The notations present on the original document disclosed another payment worth $10.5 million for administering one of the secondary units and was signed. It stated that the WE Charity would return the money.
Added to this the notations made by the WE Charity officials stated that the payments were made by the government to WE on June 30. It added that the amount has not been drawn upon and that the funds shall be repaid by WE in full.
The notations further made by the WE Charity officials state that even though the organization has incurred all the expenses since they had signed the agreement and that they are eligible to claim federal reimbursement that comes under the terms of the agreement’s termination cause, they won’t necessarily do so.
The notations clearly said that WE hold the right on termination without any clause to claim reimbursement for all the eligible expenditures that they have incurred up to the date of the termination.
But in spite of this right, WE have advised of its intention to surrender the reimbursement of its eligible expenditures to date.
The latest news has it that Conservative ethics critics, Michael Barrett has reportedly questioned the discrepancy prevailing between the promised amount and what was actually laid out in the terms of the agreement, and has said that the details given is another example that proves due diligence was not served out on the project.
The officer confirmed in a statement that the entire scandal is stuffed with corruption at the highest levels of the government and that the conservatives hall not rest until they get all the answers which the Canadians rightfully deserve.
The released documents came out only hours before the finance committee was scheduled to meet the founders of the WE Charity, Craig and Marc Kielburger, as well as the promised appearances at an unfixed date by Trudeau and his chief of staff, Katie Telford, to discuss plans to hear the testimony.
As it goes that the Kielburgers are all set to testify on Tuesday, followed by Trudeau and, Telford who would give out their testimonies on Thursday, afternoon.