The committee begins its study into the WE Charity contract controversy with an appearance by Bardish Chagger, the minister of diversity and inclusion and youth. MPs also hear from senior associate deputy minister of youth Gina Wilson, Employment and Social Development senior officials Rachel Wernick and Stephanie Hébert, as well as Volunteer Canada president Paula Speevak.
Questions have surrounded the federal government’s decision to award a now-cancelled contract to WE Charity to administer a $900-million federal grants program for student volunteers, given the long-standing ties between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family and the organization. On July 13, the prime minister apologized for not recusing himself from cabinet discussions concerning the contract. The apology followed revelations that his mother and brother had been paid for speaking engagements at events hosted by WE Charity.