Trudeau's favourite charity in hot water again after employee allegedly bribed Kenyan government

Canadaland accused Marc Kielburger of "patiently listening" as a senior employee detailed how he corrupted Kenyan government officials.

Nico Johnson Montreal QC

The controversial WE Charity and Canadaland are in the midst of a conflict this week after the outlet published an article regarding the charity's alleged dodgy dealings in Kenya.

On Friday, Canadaland accused the WE Charity co-founder Marc Kielburger of "patiently listening" as a senior employee detailed how he corrupted Kenyan government officials.

In a recording obtained by Canadaland, Peter Ruhiu (who works at the WE Charity) explained that he bought off employees within the Kenyan government  who were investigating a branch of the WE Charity.

Worse still, Ruhiu goes on to threaten another employee, saying "I could call my guys tonight and take care of this guy."

"You know, right now, honestly, if I had a gun, I would shoot the motherfucker dead, right now," added Ruhiu.

Kielburger later explained that he was helping the Kenyan police—passing on whatever Ruhiu said to the police.

Despite this, Ruhiu remained the WE’s country director for Kenya for another 8 months after this phone call.

Canadaland has long been skeptical of the "cult" of the Kielburger and the WE Charity—excavating an old article from 2019 that accused the organization of mistreating their employees.

This was in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's most recent scandal where he awarded a $900 million contract to the WE Charity to help find students volunteering positions that they would be later reimbursed for.

This, however, was soon met with criticism. Some Conservative MPs asked why the government could not ask the civil service to perform this task. They also noted the connections between the Kielburgers and the Trudeau family.

One of the founders donated, for instance, to Justin Trudeau's leadership campaign, and Sophie Trudeau (Justin's wife) hosts a podcast for the WE Charity.

As a result of the increasing media frenzy, the Trudeau government cancelled this contract on Friday.

In a statement the federal government said the decision to cut ties with the organization was a "mutually agreed upon decision."

"The Government of Canada and WE Charity will work together to ensure that the volunteers who have applied and been placed won't be adversely affected. WE Charity has also decided to return any funds that had already been received," said Bardish Chagger, the Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister in the statement.

"Our government's objective remains to connect the skills and abilities of young people with service opportunities to help heal their communities."

It is not yet clear whether the WE Charity will return the $912 million to the taxpayer.

Even before this tumult occurred, Canadaland's founder Jesse Brown posted on Twitter accusing a counsel for the WE Charity of hiring a security firm to investigate Brown and another writer.

"Tell me, [Peter Downard]," said Brown. "Exactly why did your client want my home address, the name of my son, and the name of the school my kids attend?"

Downard later told Brown that it was "a typical example of due diligence."

Despite the fact that Canadaland has an obvious bias and activist bent to its publishing, the revelations regarding the WE Foundation are credible and deeply concerning as another Trudeau scandal begins to dominate the headlines.


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