It appears the Trudeau-WE Charity story has legs.
Anyone with a background in politics could see there was an issue here and a lot of unanswered questions. The big surprise, unless they were blinded by their own arrogance was that PMO and the PM didn’t see they were going to get hit hard on this issue.
I asked previously who made the initial contact. This is a key point in Trudeau’s story which is rapidly disintegrating.
If the PM and staff in the PMO were not involved, it would have been someone in the department to make the first contact with WE to see if there was any interest in taking on this challenge. After-all this is a major undertaking that is usually done by the civil service such as with the CREB program.
The media are now reporting that one of the founders of WE (Marc Kielburger) is on video saying PMO called him first. There would be no reason for this to happen if the PM or his staff in the PMO were not directly involved.
That comment undoubtedly sent PMO into damage control mode. And later it was reported he misspoke. Walking back your comment using that term in politics is like waving a red flag at a bull.
Some additional questions come to mind.
Trudeau wants to “pay” people to volunteer. That is the direct opposite of what volunteer means.
This leads to an interesting question. Was this a political plan hatched in PMO and did the department refuse to support it?
It has the potential to be an administrative nightmare. Is that why according to Trudeau WE is the only organization capable of doing this? Did the department recommend not going forward with this scheme to pay volunteers?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Keith is a former Conservative political staffer with over 50 years of active involvement in Canadian politics. During that time, he has held quite a few party positions as well as political staff positions. Most recently, Keith was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Issues Management with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2003-2008). Prior to that he worked as an advisor in the Leader’s Office for Peter Mackay, Joe Clark and Jean Charest. Keith also served as the Chief of Staff to the minister in three Federal departments during Brian Mulroney’s government (1984-89). Additional political experience came as the staff person in charge of Question Period from 1997-2008 where he served in both the Opposition and Government roles. Keith is also known for having created one of the most effective political rapid response teams in Canadian politics. He also has municipal experience and he was a city councilor in a suburb of Montreal. Known for his bluntness and to the point comments, this blog is also known for its fairness and respectful treatment of politicians from all parties. A well-known political pundit, Keith has appeared many times on Canadian political panels and he has been interviewed by major Canadian networks including CTV, CBC, Global. He has also given presentations/speeches in various parts of Canada and the USA.