Trudeau defends WE deal, despite battered charity’s plan to close in Canada


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t second-guessing his government’s choice of WE Charity to administer a student service grant — a move that sparked controversy and ultimately prompted the organization to close its Canadian operations.

Opposition MPs have been grilling the government for months over the now-abandoned student program because of WE Charity’s close connections to the families of Trudeau and Bill Morneau, the recently departed finance minister.

The Liberals have consistently said it was federal public servants who recommended the grant program be administered by the youth group to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau was asked during a news briefing today whether he takes any responsibility for WE Charity’s woes.

The prime minister reiterates that he regrets not having recused himself from the government decision because of the perception involved, but he insists there was no conflict of interest.

Trudeau says the government moved rapidly with a partner that it felt was able to actually deliver the student grant program.