WE charity closing down after student grant program scandal

Selling assets, eliminating staff and winding down operations

The WE charity, which was involved in a political scandal involving Prime Minister Trudeau and a grant program for students, is winding down.

The charity is selling off its assets, eliminating staff and winding down operations in Canada citing financial pressure and loss of sponsors. It is hoping to keep its international humanitarian programs afloat.

Co-founder Craig Kielburger says he never expected the political firestorm that erupted after WE accepted a now-cancelled deal to deliver a student grants program for the Liberal government.

The $43.5 million contract faced intense scrutiny after it was revealed the families of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau had ties to the charity. It also prompted investigations by the federal ethics watchdog.

Trudeau’s mother, brother and wife had received honorariums for speaking engagements at WE events. WE paid, in part, for trips taken by Morneau’s family – money Morneau said he intended to, and has since, paid back.

Both Trudeau and Morneau have apologized for not recusing themselves from discussions about a partnership with WE.