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We Charity 50 million in Toronto real estate alone

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
New details of the relationship between government decision-makers and WE Charity continue to emerge, with Marieke Walsh and David Milstead reporting today that WE Charity had collected most of its $33 million fee for administering the Canada Student Service Grant prior to the cancellation of the contract on July 3.

The contract was signed on June 23, but came into effect on May 5, 2020.
Information about the amount of money WE Charity has already collected was revealed by the House of Commons finance committee on Monday morning. The committee also confirmed that Prime Minister Trudeau and his chief of staff, Katie Telford, will testify on Thursday afternoon.
The Globe spoke to Michelle Douglas, the former chair of WE Charity’s Canadian board of directors yesterday, who revealed she resigned from her position on March 27, over what she called “concerning developments” within the organization. The charity has said the resignation was part of a routine changeover in the board’s organization.
 
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
WE Charity projecting $25-million from sale of assets, documents reveal
PAUL WALDIE, JAREN KERR, MARIEKE WALSH
THE GLOBE AND MAIL

WE Charity is expecting to net $25-million from the sale of its real estate holdings and other assets as it winds down its Canadian operations and sets up a new endowment, documents released by the charity indicate.

WE announced last month that it was ending its programs in Canada and that co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger would leave the organization. The charity said it had been forced to act because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the controversy surrounding a cancelled contract with the federal government to run a student volunteer program.

At the time, Craig Kielburger said proceeds from the asset sale would be used to create “an endowment, we hope to sustain global projects for the long term, like our hospital, college and agricultural learning centre that meet critical needs of children and families.”

WE Charity is expecting to net $25-million from the sale of its real estate holdings and other assets as it winds down its Canadian operations and sets up a new endowment, documents released by the charity indicate.

WE announced last month that it was ending its programs in Canada and that co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger would leave the organization. The charity said it had been forced to act because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the controversy surrounding a cancelled contract with the federal government to run a student volunteer program.

At the time, Craig Kielburger said proceeds from the asset sale would be used to create “an endowment, we hope to sustain global projects for the long term, like our hospital, college and agricultural learning centre that meet critical needs of children and families.”

Mr. Torigian concluded in his eight-page report that the federal government reached out to WE to administer the volunteer program and that neither bureaucrats or the Prime Minister’s Office predetermined that the charity would be selected.

In its 11-page report, Rosen said that the “overall public commentary” about WE “is not based on readily available facts, but rather, a ‘group think’ type of behaviour where the same misleading statements are made over and over such that they are improperly assumed to be fact.”

Among the firm’s conclusions were that WE was financially viable last spring when it won the federal contract and that its real estate acquisitions “were well aligned with – and necessary for the delivery of – the organization’s social mission.”

Both reports were commissioned by the Stillman Family Foundation which has made several donations to Free The Children, WE Charity’s former name. According to IRS forms, the foundation gave Free The Children US$150,000 in 2016, US$258,775 in 2015 and US$91,775 in 2014.

David Stillman, whose relatives have served on the board of the family foundation, worked for WE Charity in the United States from 2010 to 2015 as director of U.S. operations. Mr. Stillman is now a business consultant based in a Minneapolis suburb and he has also served on the board of WE Charity U.S.

“While it can sometimes be awkward to have bosses younger than you, I can say without a doubt that they were the best leaders I have ever worked for and with,” Mr. Stillman said in an endorsement on WE’s website. Marc Kielburger also referred to Mr. Stillman as “our friend” in a 2016 blog post.

The Howie Stillman Young Leadership Fund, set up in honour of David Stillman’s brother, has also funded WE’s work in Kenya.

In a statement on Friday, WE said the Stillman Foundation commissioned the reports “as long-time supporters of the organization.” WE added that the foundation "funded this work because of their involvement with the organization not in spite [of] their involvement. Once the reports were complete, they wanted to publicly share the findings.” WE also said that David Stillman was not involved in commissioning the reports.
 
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