WE Charity retroactively discloses dozens of phone calls with Trudeau government then registers as lobbyist

WE's submitted reports include two calls that were previously undocumented, including a call with Youth Minister Bardish Chagger.
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

The WE Charity is now registered as a lobbyist of the Trudeau government, having also retroactively filed more than 60 communication reports for talks the charity had with the federal government since 2019. Those filings include 38 monthly communication reports over the past six months.

The information came to light after WE Charity's executive director Dalal Al-Waheidi told the House of Commons finance committee that, as of Thursday, WE had registered as a lobbyist.

Al-Waheidi said that it was not previously necessary for the charity to register, as the government engagement was only "one to three per cent of [WE Charity's] overall budget and engagement."

"We thought it was minimal. If I thought that registration was required, we would have done it," said Al-Waheidi.

WE's submitted reports include two calls that were previously undocumented, including a call with Youth Minister Bardish Chagger.

The Trudeau government and the WE Charity have been criticized for their conduct for weeks now, as the federal government moved to give the charity a contract worth nearly a billion dollars.

The contract was retracted after revelations that the charity was closely connected with members of Trudeau's family and cabinet.

The scandal and the corruption that came to light with it lead to widespread criticism from opposition parties, as well as watchdog groups.

The leader of the NGO Democracy Watch, Duff Conacher, said that he would grade Justin Trudeau's Liberals an 'F' when it comes to ethics and open government.

During an ethics committee meeting on Monday, the Conservative Ethics Critic Michael Barrett asked Conacher "what grade would you give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his adherence to ethics laws since being elected in 2015?"

"Well, both in ethics laws but also in terms of breaking open government promises, the Liberal's grade an F in both cases," he responded.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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