An organization linked to Justin Trudeau and his family has been selected to dole out the Canadian Student Service Grant.
The CSCG subsidy will go to full-time students who do volunteer work to support their post-secondary education as part of the Liberals $912 million coronavirus support package to students. For every 100 hours worked, a student is eligible for $1,000 to a maximum of $5000.
The WE Charity, founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, was selected to administer the government grants. However, questions swirl about a conflict of interest between Trudeau and WE, because the Prime Minister and his family frequently participate in WE events across the world.
According to CBC:
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Trudeau's wife, is an "ambassador and ally" for the organization and hosts a podcast in association with WE focused on mental health issues. Grégoire Trudeau and Trudeau's mother, Margaret, attended a star-studded event at Wembley Arena in London, U.K. in March of this year, shortly before Grégoire Trudeau announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
Trudeau himself has been a frequent guest speaker at WE Day, an annual event that draws thousands of young people.
WE Charity said in a statement to CBC News members of the Trudeau family don't receive any appearance fees or honoraria when they appear at WE events. Grégoire Trudeau has been reimbursed for travel expenses related to her volunteer work with the organization.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner said in a statement to CBC News that, in many cases, free travel would be considered a gift under the act.
Trudeau told reporters Friday the “nonpartisan” public service selected WE because of the reach of the organization and assured WE will not “make a profit” but will be paid to administer the program.