We Charity

Apparently, there is no “we” in board either.

The co-founder of the notorious We Charity, Craig Kielberger, has been replaced as a federal board member of the Leader’s Debates Commission, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Kielburger, a former Liberal Party donor, was the only advisory board member to be replaced.

Kielberger “did not wish to continue as a member,” said Chantal Ouimet, spokeswoman for the Commission.

Kielburger in 2019 was named one of seven members of the board to oversee televised election debates.

“The Advisory Board composition is mandated to be reflective of gender balance and Canadian diversity and to represent a range of political affiliations and expertise,” the commission said in an earlier statement.

“Board members will be guided by the pursuit of the public interest and by the principles of independence, impartiality, credibility, democratic citizenship, civic education, inclusion and cost effectiveness.”

Kielburger and his brother, Marc, previously donated $3,100 to the Liberal Party, but the “We Charity is a non-partisan organization,” Craig said in July 28, 2020 testimony at the Commons finance committee.

“We have welcomed politicians of all stripes.”

Current members of the advisory board are former Liberal MP John Manley (Ottawa South), ex-Reform MP Deborah Grey (Edmonton North), ex-New Democrat MP Megan Leslie (Halifax), retired Québec Court of Appeal judge Louise Otis, Professor Chad Gaffield of the University of Ottawa, and Jean La Rose, former CEO of the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. Kielburger was replaced by a new appointee, Abdullah Snobar, CEO of the DMZ Ventures and Zone Startup of Toronto.

Kielburger’s departure follows two reports by the Ethics Commissioner detailing relations between We Charity and cabinet members, including the prime minister.

“Mr. Trudeau and members of his family have been closely involved in We Charity’s affairs for several years,” said a May 12 Trudeau III Report. The charity paid the Trudeau family a total $481,751 in gifts, talent fees and expense-paid trips to London and New York.

A separate May 13 Morneau II report concluded Kielburger also had a friendship with former federal finance minister Bill Morneau, who abruptly quit last August 17 for breach of the Conflict Of Interest Act.

Morneau approved a $43.5 million grant for We Charity without disclosing the Kielburgers hired his daughter out of college and covered $41,366 in family expenses at resorts in Ecuador and Kenya.

“Mr. Morneau and his family were made to feel as though he had become personal friends with Mr. Kielburger,” wrote Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion.

“Furthermore the relationship appeared to be common knowledge among ministerial staff in Mr. Morneau’s office since they viewed Kielburger as being ‘important to Bill’ and noting ‘he has been really good to us.’”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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