Justin Trudeau WE

Justin Trudeau apologizes for the WE Charity conflict of interest

“I am disappointed in myself.”

In a press briefing this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for not recusing himself from the process of selecting the WE Charity for a $900-million contract to run the Canada Student Service Grant program. A scandal over the WE Charity contract arose as it emerged that the organization had paid members of the Trudeau family significant amounts of money in recent years — amounts in the hundreds of thousands for speeches by Trudeau’s brother and mother as well as (before he was Prime Minister) his wife — while other speakers were not paid at all.

“When it came to this organization (WE Charity) and this program (Canada Student Service Grant), the involvement that I’ve had in the past and that my family had should of had me remove myself from the discussions. And I am sorry that I didn’t. Particularly sorry, because not only has this created an unnecessary controversy and issues, it also means that the young people who are facing a difficult time right now — getting summer jobs, contributing to their communities — are going to have to wait a little longer before getting getting those opportunities to serve. And that is frustrating.”

The WE Charity organization has withdrawn from the Canada Student Service grant program, which is now stalled.

Read more about the student service opportunities here.

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