Marc and Craig Kielburger during a videoconference before the finance committee in Ottawa, Tuesday
28 July 2020 14h17
The founders of STATES have to defend themselves before the committee of finance
The canadian Press
OTTAWA – The co-founders of the organization STATES say that their organization has been selected to administer a grant program for the volunteer student because of their experience in the field and not by reason of their proximity with the Trudeau government.
Testifying before the finance committee of the House of commons, the brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger said Tuesday that they regret how the granting of this contract has been received and that they would never have agreed to administer the program, had they known what the consequences would be for the students.
The duo will appear before the committee in the framework of a parliamentary investigation into a scholarship program for the volunteer student, who planned to grant $ 500 million in grants, even if the liberals have touted the program saying it has a budget of 912 million $.
They must testify for no less than four hours.
A little earlier, the ex-president of the board of directors of the Motion STATES, Michelle Douglas, said before this same committee to have resigned from his post on 27 march after having been held in the shadow of hundreds of layoffs within the organization at the beginning of the pandemic.
Ms. Douglas, a former soldier and a member of the public service to retirement, said to have been involved within the united STATES, formerly known as “Free the Children”, for 15 years.
“I couldn’t do my job,” she offered by way of explanation for his hasty departure at the head of the board of directors.
Mrs Douglas said to have attempted to obtain evidence or explanations on the part of the management team to justify the massive layoffs, without success. She is said to have given an ultimatum to management at a meeting of the ad hoc on the 23rd of march last, but the encounter would have ended so “abruptly”, according to his words.
Two days later, Craig Kielburger has reportedly asked that she resign. She has decided to cede her place on the 27th march and said they did not have knowledge of the discussions surrounding the volunteer program established by the federal government.
Reminder of the controversy
STATES has renounced the administration of the program at the beginning of the month of July, in the middle of a controversy over the awarding by the liberals of a contract to the organization, despite its close ties with the prime minister Justin Trudeau.
The controversy has only become worse since then, while the commissioner of the federal ethics launched investigations on Mr. Trudeau and the minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, in connection with their involvement in the decisions of the cabinet.
Members of the family of Mr. Trudeau received a fee for their participation in events of the united STATES. The Finance minister has himself admitted last week that he had to repay the organization more than $ 41,000 for travel sponsored by STATES, made by him and his family three years ago.
During her testimony, Ms. Douglas has revealed that the united STATES does not pay for invited speakers during the days (U.S.) (“WE Days”, in English). She could not comment on the specific case of family members of the prime minister.
Mr. Trudeau and his main advisor, the chief of staff Katie Telford, are required to testify Thursday about the program and the agreement with STATES.
The Scholarship program, canadian volunteer student was to be deployed before the summer and pay participants up to $ 5000 depending on the number of volunteer hours performed before the beginning of October.
STATES would administer the program and to put young people in touch with volunteering opportunities through an online platform that would also have paid to US a fee of $ 43.5 million for up to 40,000 investments.
When the organization withdrew from the agreement, she said that things were largely in place for the federal public administration.
However, problems have arisen with this that STATES put in place and the government has not yet announced a schedule to enable students to access the program.