(October 30, 2020) Ottawa’s ethics commissioner Mario Dion has dropped his investigation into former finance minister Bill Morneau’s trips with the WE Charity saying he believed that Moreau truly thought he had paid for trips he had taken to Kenya and Ecuador with the charity himself.
Morneau has been among the collateral damage caused by the federal government’s choice of the We Charity to execute a paid volunteer program for students. He resigned his position in August.
The announcement of the government’s $900 million deal with WE turned long whispered rumours about how the charity operated turned into blaring headlines of accusations and investigation into how the founders allegedly bullied employees, supported systemically racist practices, misused funds, and misled the public and their own board.
“The WE Charity is the biggest and the most complex controversy I can recall in the charity sector,” says Paul Alofs, former CEO of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation told The Charity Report in August. “It involves an extremely high profile charity and the most senior levels of our federal government in truly regrettable and damaging behaviour.”
In the aftermath of the controversy the charity has shuttered its operations in Canada and said it plans to sell its assets to establish an endowment fund to sustain the charity’s existing international programs. It is not yet clear how the endowment fund will work.
While the ethics commissioner has excused Bill Morneau’s trips with the WE Charity, Mario Dion is still “investigating whether Morneau breached the Conflict of Interest Act by failing to recuse himself from cabinet deliberations on the WE Charity summer student grants contract due to his close family ties to the organization.”
The biggest charity scandal in Canada’s history? August 14, 2020
Charity Controversy: A week of WE. Now what? July 6, 2020