TORONTO, July 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WE co-founders Marc and Craig Kielburger will appear before the Finance Committee on July 28, 2020. New information about the complex network of WE entities is coming to light for the first time in the aftermath of the Canadian government’s announcement of a sole-source contract with WE Charity to administer the $912 million Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).
Since WE Charity is one of Canada’s largest charities with a global profile, Charity Intelligence (Ci) is closely following these hearings to learn and share new information. On behalf of Canadian donors looking for answers, these are the Top 10 questions we would ask the Kielburgers at the Finance Committee hearings.
- The CSSG was contracted through WE Charity Foundation, a new separate charity, rather than WE Charity. The explanation was that this decision was made for legal liability purposes. Did you consider that this course of action might increase the risk for the Government of Canada and also Canadian taxpayers? Why ask this?
- Why do you not hire leading international auditors to prepare your financial statements? Why ask this?
- On May 19, 2015, ME to WE Foundation (US) and WE Charity (US) each paid US$500,000 to purchase website domain(s). What domains were bought, and who owned them at the time they were purchased? Why ask this?
- Why do you need so many different entities and such a complex organizational structure in order to do your work? Why ask this?
- How do you explain that ME to WE Foundation (US) has not disclosed in its regulatory filings the non-arms-length relationships of its three directors? Why ask this?
- Why are you not directors, officers, or trustees of any of these charities, but rather take the title “co-founders”? Why ask this?
- At WE Charity (US) there are two classes of members. Will you provide to the Committee a list of founding and voting members since inception, and does WE Charity (Canada) have a similar selection mechanism for Canadian directors? Why ask this?
- Would you be willing to provide the Committee a complete list and organizational chart of all entities in all jurisdictions which have as directors, members, and/or officers any of the following people in the last five years: Marc Kielburger, Craig Kielburger, Kielburger family members, Dalal Al-Waheidi , Scott Baker, and Victor Li. Why ask this?
- What are the names of the external advisors who recommended Greg Rogers as Chair of WE Charity (Canada)? Why ask this?
- ME to WE Foundation (US) reports US$15.8 million in program spending since 2015, but reports no staff or wages paid. What specifically was this money spent on? Why ask this?
Note to Editors
- It’s important for Canadian donors to have a full understanding of the entire network of charities they are funding. What goes on in these various international entities may influence giving decisions. The more donors understand about the entirety of the network, the better informed they will be, and the better able to give intelligently.
- Ci posts free reports on more than 750 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 360,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.3 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Ci aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.
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