Hundreds of contract workers who were brought in to administer the federal government’s Canada Student Service Grant, are now out of work..
WE Charity had hired 465 contract workers before the charity and Ottawa ended their partnership of the CSSG. Subsequently, WE Charity laid off 450 of them, while giving the other 15 full-time positions.
In a statement WE said”With the government funding no longer available we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to end the contracts for those hired to deliver the CSSG program. Additional pay was given based on tenure, in addition to compensation for the time they had worked.”
The program raised controversy as soon as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 25 they were awarding a $19.5 million sole-source contract to WE Charity to administer the CSSG, a $912 million program offering grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to post-secondary students in return for supervised volunteer hours.
The federal Ethics Commissioner is looking into the issue and the Conservatives want to RCMP to investigate the awarding of the contract after it was revealed that The PM’s mother and brother had received $300,000 in speaking fees from the charity.
As well, two members of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s family have ties to WE Charity — one of them as a paid contract employee. Neither Trudeau nor Morneau drecused themselves from the Liberal cabinet’s consideration of the contract for the charity.
“WE Charity made the decision to not take any of the funds that were allocated to pay for the work delivered for the CSSG program. All sunk costs and remaining payments to contractors and vendors are being paid for by WE Charity,” the charity said Saturday.