Updated: Mar 18, 2021
WE Charity was awarded a $912 million Summer Grant Program. This was a federal grant given in 2020. Although other organizations were just as deserving (YWCA, Public Service Alliance of Canada) WE was the only organization that had been rubbing shoulders with the Trudeau family. They had been accused of paying Trudeau family members to attend events and also used photos of the family as celebrity endorsements in their application.
The founders of WE Charity, the Kielbrugers, had also claimed that they knew nothing about the involvement of the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister aiding the decision of awarding the grant. In a conference today Pierre Poilievre questioned both of the Kielburger brothers about this. Again, both founders stand by the fact that they had no knowledge that Senior Chief Advisor Ben Chin had a role in the voting.
Pierre then introduced evidence that Craig Kielburger had sent a LinkedIn message to Chin which stated:
Hello Ben, Thank you for your kindness in helping shape our latest program with the gov’t. Warmly, Craig
Craig then offered multiple explanations for this stating first that he had his EA send out hundreds of messages on LinkedIn because previously he only had “7 or 8 followers” and he was requesting people to join him on the site and apparently Mr. Chin was one of them.
Poilievre responded to this by saying, “Craig, this is your message. It’s signed by you. And if I can be clear it doesn’t just say “ I wish you well”.” He reread the message again before reminding Craig that he was in a lot of trouble. Poilievre then reminded Craig that he had already stated having no previous knowledge of Mr. Chin’s involvement yet he’s sending him a thank you for helping “shape that program.”
Craig’s response? To again blame his EA for wanting to create personalized letters while requesting them to join his LinkedIn page.
Pierre jumped on this excuse. “Excuse me Craig, you’re in a lot of trouble here my friend. You’re under oath. Perjury is a crime.” He then reminded him again of him not admitting to knowing that Chin played a role in establishing the program and curled back to the letter. “You’re message to him did not say, “thank you for joining me on LinkedIn”.” After re rereading the letter again he asked very plainly for a yes or no answer as to if he knew that Chin was indeed involved.
When Craig says, “No,” it’s almost surprising at this point.
Pierre’s response was, “So you sent an email to someone thanking them for “helping shape our latest program” even though you had no knowledge of his involvement in the program.”
Craig again put the blame on his EA who had “kindly drafted them (the messages)”. To which Pierre confusedly questioned him on sending a hundred messages to people thanking them for helping shape a government program. “No, each of them had a personalized LinkedIn request, that was his request.”
There you have it folks, the conversation continued in this circle that was already very clear as to what Craig was more than likely being dishonest about.
Furthermore Poilievre questioned them about the amount of money the charity had paid out. Apparently $400,000 dollars in fees and expenses had been given out but the only name who received it is the Trudeau family. The Kielburgers are claiming that the money had been distributed to dozens of speakers who have come into events. Oddly enough they did not want to share the other names on the list of beneficiaries even though the names would have been satisfactory evidence in their favor.
During the press conference that followed Pierre discussed the Kielburgers contradictory testimonies. Discussing the case he talks about how all of these accusations were made to seem “dreamed up” but that “the evidence suggests” that is not the case. He even requested that Ben Chin and other “top liberal advisors... to come to the ethics committee and testify.”
Poilievre also discussed the Prime Minister's role and bluntly stated, “Justin Trudeau intervened to get a half billion dollar grant or contribution to a group that had paid his family roughly a half million dollars in fees and expenses. He then claimed that it had nothing to do with him, that it was merely a bureaucrat in a far away department. The evidence suggests it was his own top staff who were involved in setting it up. We need the facts, we need the truth. If Justin Trudeau has nothing to hide he will invite his staff members to come and answer questions.”
Did anyone else notice that Pierre neglected to call Trudeau “Prime Minister”?
Poilievre then turned the conference over to the Shadow Minister of Ethics Michael Barrett. Barrett has lead the prosecution on this case and had much to say. “We have a scandal that is laid, very clearly, at the feet of Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s a situation of his own making. Where we have his family given half a million dollars in cash and benefits from an organization that his government gave a half billion dollar deal to. When Canadians were expecting the government to be looking out for everyday Canadians, but instead the liberals couldn’t help themselves and looked after insiders. So we’re calling for three individuals, three senior individuals in the Trudeau government: Mr. Emmett Paul Singh, Mr. Ben Chin, and Mr. Rick Tys.”
He then explained why he is asking these specific three to come forward for questioning. It turns out that early on in the investigation Mr. Sing was a senior staff member in Bill Morneau. Mr. Morneau ended up resigning from the Trudeau government because of this scandal alone. Mr. Chin was found having been involved with this matter quite closely. Mr. Tys is a Senior Advisor in PMO as well as the federal cabinet. It just so happens that this is where the grant was eventually signed off.
He then goes into how the last time this case had been attempted to be scrutinized the Prime Minister released some “very blacked out documents”, shut down parliament for the day and said that basically there would be plenty of time to discuss the issue. Then came 20 sessions of filibuster which were followed by delays and distractions. The witnesses that were called upon then refused to appear even if they were summoned. They eventually did testify and told the truth which lands us to today.
TBT will continue reporting updates on this case as they happen.