What WE Lost book review: What really happened to WE Charity

What WE Lost book review

In the spring of 2021, a Canadian Member of Parliament warned an ordinary citizen testifying before the Parliamentary Finance Committee that “you are in a lot of trouble here my friend. You are under oath. Perjury is a crime.”

Without context, and given the tone of the questioner, one might imagine parallels to Robert Kennedy questioning Jimmy Hoffa in Congressional hearings in the 1950’s, or the brazen tactics of Senator Eugene McCarthy in the midst of his crusade to root out Communists from America.

But, this was not America in the 1950’s. It was Canada, well into the 21st Century. The MP was Pierre Poilievre, who today aspires to lead the Conservative Party of Canada. The citizen being threatened by a sitting politician was the founder of a Canadian children’s charity; Craig Kielburger, who launched the international success story, WE Charity, when he was just 12 years old.

A few months earlier, Poilievre uttered another threat to Craig (and his brother Marc, who co-founded the charity), Tweeting, “You can run, but you can’t hide”.

Poilievre’s grandstanding, along with the behaviour of other Canadian politicians and media is examined in a new book about the political scandal involving the Trudeau government and a contract awarded to WE Charity in the summer of 2020.

What WE Lost: Inside the Attack on Canada’s Largest Children’s Charity, written by Canadian lawyer and former WE Charity board member, Tawfiq Rangwala, details the elements of the affair, but also provides a sobering look at the state of our political discourse.

Rangwala warns that while such antics from elected members of parliament towards other politicians are nothing new, the actions of politicians like Poilievre and the NDP’s Charlie Angus against private citizens should alarm every Canadian.

While Angus and Poilievre should have nothing in common given their divergent political philosophies, they effectively teamed up to attack the Trudeau government through a proxy war against WE Charity and its founders. Their working theory seemed to be the worse they could make WE Charity look through their attacks, the worse it was for the Liberals.

Rangwala’s book also looks at the role of the media in the affair. After months of non-stop coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic that landed in March 2020, and featured daily announcements by Trudeau and other federal ministers, the media was clearly eager to change the channel and follow a new narrative.

As What WE Lost cleverly points out, the early days of the pandemic did wonders for Trudeau’s polling numbers. Just prior to COVID-19’s arrival in North America, the recently re-elected PM’s numbers were in free fall, besieged by his handling of national rail blockades by indigenous protestors and the cancelling of Tek Resource’s $20 billion Frontier Oilsands Mine – Trudeau was rapidly losing support from all sides.

But when the pandemic hit, Canadians rallied behind the PM and lauded his leadership. His approval rating rose to 55%, the highest it had been since 2016. There was no opening for the opposition or the media to criticize.

That quickly changed with the creation of the Canada Student Service Grant, announced in June 2020.

WE Charity was called upon to administer the student summer grant program, which was designed to get money in the hands of students who had little chance of finding summer jobs due to the pandemic.

But previous ties between the organization and Trudeau’s mother and wife, gave the opposition the opportunity to pounce, and the media served as the megaphone to amplify the endless accusations of wrongdoing.

What followed could conservatively be called a media and political circus.

Today, almost two years after the program launched, the political principals are all still in place – save for Bill Morneau, who fell on his sword for Trudeau – but the children’s charity is no more in Canada.

The Trudeau government was re-elected along with Angus and Poilievre, with the latter hoping to replace Trudeau as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, as Rangwala carefully documents in What WE Lost, WE Charity’s former beneficiaries, including impoverished children in Africa, India, Haiti and elsewhere, and students across North America, were the unintended road kill in the now largely forgotten political scandal. While little changed politically due to the CSSG affair, the impacts on those largely voiceless groups will last for years.

What WE Lost: Inside the Attack on Canada’s Largest Children’s Charity

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

indoor air quality
Clean your air filter every month – Mtl duct cleaning

Easy ways to improve indoor air quality – Mtl Duct Cleaning

Caerula Mar Club a new standard in paradise – South Andros Bahamas


Hottest bikini’s for 2022

Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles

best Canadian Sportsbook

How to choose the best Canadian Sportsbook

The way we work, live, and play have all been impacted by the rapid advancement of technology, which is really making leaps and bounds. This is especially true for the business of odds shopping, which includes both brick-and-mortar wagering and internet gambling. Over the course of more than two decades, Canada Sports Gambling has excelled

Personal chef

here are some reasons why you should hire a personal chef

Are you tired of eating the same old thing? Do you feel like you’re in a cooking rut? If so, it might be time to consider hiring a personal chef. Personal chefs can help you create delicious, nutritious meals that are tailored to your specific dietary needs. They can also help you save time and

Bets online

How sports enthusiasts can safely place their bets online

It appears to be like sports betting is no longer in the shadows and has finally found a way to be in the spotlight. That’s precisely one of the reasons why the sports betting industry is one of the leaders when it comes to the gambling industry. And since sports betting has become legal in

Timeshare subscription

7 ways to cancel out your Timeshare subscription

Although customer knowledge of shady departure organizations as well as the difficulties involved in leaving a timeshare have increased recently, professionals claim timeshare participation is still widespread. The epidemic might well have caused current proprietors to reevaluate their desire for timeshares. More individuals now desire to leave their timeshares as a result of the outbreak.

Exterior Doors

Types of Exterior doors

The exterior doors are the first thing people see before they get to the inside of your home. For this reason, it is best to take your time before choosing the type of door to install in your home. The most important factor is the functionality of the door, but the door should also be

relief arthritis pain naturally

Ways to get relief arthritis pain naturally

Natural Relief for Arthritic Pain Arthritic pain can feel unbearable. If you’re an arthritis sufferer, however, sweet relief is waiting for you. These natural treatment options can do so much for people who want to eliminate or at least minimize unpleasant arthritic pains and aches. Chiropractic Care Chiropractic for pain treatment can be a game

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox