Justin Trudeau, PM
Prime Minister of Canada
If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had simply recused himself from involvement during the cabinet vote for the program, the entire WE Charity “scandal” would have been avoided.
Before the pandemic, both Trudeau’s wife and mother had appropriate, working relationships with WE Charity. To avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest, a reasonable politician would recuse himself from Cabinet discussions on selecting WE Charity as the administrator of the program. Trudeau chose otherwise.
When the controversy broke, instead of stepping up to protect the charity and the millions of young Canadians it served, he stepped back, deflected, shut down parliament and even went on holidays after his committee testimony. He left WE Charity to fend for itself, unfairly making it for the lightning rod for all opposition attacks against the program and Trudeau himself.
After WE Charity was attacked by the opposition parties and forced to remove itself from delivering the program, Trudeau falsely stated that the government would find ways to deliver the program. That never happened and the 30,000 students who had signed up in the first two days after launch, young people wanting to step up and help and earn much needed summer income, got nothing. The government shelved the program and established nothing to replace it.