Ontario Ministry of Education cuts ties with WE, says will investigate contracts

Ontario government says it is deeply concerned and troubled by the allegations

TORONTO — The Ontario Ministry of Education says it will not renew its contract with We Charity and will investigate any expenditures to date.

Alexandra Adamo, a spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce, says the Ontario government is deeply concerned and troubled by the allegations that have been made against WE.

In an email, she says this is taxpayer money and hard working people in the province deserve to know that their money is delivering value.

Adamo says the allegations, which she did not specify, raise serious questions.

On June 18, the ministry announced that it would give WE Charity $250,000 for a year-long education program that aims to nurture empathy and compassion in students and increase student outcomes in academic engagement, workplace readiness, and citizenship.

Adamo said she believes that education may be the only Ontario ministry that has funded WE.

“These allegations raise serious questions,” she wrote in an email Friday. “That is why the Ministry of Education has been directed to not renew the contract with WE and to investigate expenditures to date.”

Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he knew there would be problems with perception over having WE Charity run a $900-million student-volunteer program, but he believed there was no conflict of interest because his family would not benefit.

The prime minister testified Thursday that he didn’t learn WE had been chosen by the public service to run the program until May 8, shortly before the arrangement was to be taken to cabinet for approval.

Trudeau said that’s when he put the brakes on the deal.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he doesn’t buy Trudeau’s account.

Several sponsors have cut ties with the WE brand, including Royal Bank of Canada, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Good Life Fitness and Virgin Atlantic Airways, although WE has called the moves a mutual agreement.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Submitted
Montana First Nations councillor gives back to youth

By Chevi Rabbit For Ponoka News Reggie Rabbit is a newly elected… Continue reading

General Support Services workers were picketing on 46 St. at the entrances to the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury on Oct. 26 . (Emily Jaycox/PonokaNews)
Ponoka Centennial Centre support workers strike

General Support Services staff hit the picket line Oct. 26

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Front-line hospital workers have walked off the job at the Rimbey Hospital, and across the province. Photo Submitted
Front-line health care workers on strike across the province, including Rimbey Hospital

The strike is due to cut of 11,000 health care jobs in the province, according to AUPE

Most Read