Evening Brief: Documents reveal new details about student grant, WE deal

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Good evening, readers.

The Lead

Federal officials considered at least 20 organizations to deliver the Canada Student Service Grant before selecting WE Charity, documents obtained by iPolitics show.

The documents, which have been submitted to the House of Commons finance committee, show departmental officials held two calls with 12 members of the Canada Service Corps to discuss their capacity to deliver a program that would become the CSSG. Eight other organizations were also assessed. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other federal ministers previously said the public service told them WE organization was the only fit to deliver the program they envisioned at such a scale so quickly.

Also published is the contribution agreement between the federal government and the WE Charity Foundation of Canada, which entails $500 million to be awarded to students through the program, significantly less than the $912 million figure the government had in mind in April.

Jolson Lim reports.

WE Charity co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger and chief financial officer Victor Li are scheduled to testify in front of the House finance committee on Tuesday. Trudeau and his chief of staff Katie Telford are due to give testimony on Thursday.

In Canada

Hundreds of people gathered at a Halifax park and in the riding of Nova Scotia’s justice minister today to demand a public inquiry into the April mass shooting that killed 22 people in the province.

As the Canadian Press reports, the protests followed last week’s announcement by the provincial and federal governments of an independent review, which has been criticized by victims’ family members as lacking transparency and legal heft.

Toronto and other municipalities that have lost millions of dollars in revenues because of COVID-19 will share up to $4 billion from the federal and Ontario governments to help fund public transit and other critical services.

As the Toronto Star reports, Premier Doug Ford said the money will ease budget shortfalls with details to come in the next few weeks.

Premier Doug Ford at his daily COVID-19 press conference on May 5. Steve Russell/Toronto Star

Lastly, the Supreme Court of Canada will announce Thursday whether it will hear an appeal from an ethics watchdog challenging the Trudeau government’s appointment of new ethics and lobbying commissioners.

Democracy Watch had previously applied for a judicial review of the appointments of Mario Dion and Nancy Belanger, although it was dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal. The organization had argued that cabinet acted inappropriately in naming the commissioners because both offices were actively investigating complaints implicating the government. Marco Vigliotti previews.

Process Nerd: What to watch when Trudeau (and other big names) go before WE Charity committee probe

The Sprout: Canada and Australia reach partial agreement following WTO wine sales challenge

The Drilldown: Suncor Energy charged with environmental offences due to 2018 hydrogen sulphide leak

In Other Headlines

Rideau Hall hires ex-Cirque du Soleil manager as it copes with fallout from harassment claims (CBC News)

Believe it or not Phoenix Pay is finally working, after four years of spitting out errors (National Post)

Ghost Tower: Inside the nasty legal battle that’s kept a Calgary skyscraper empty (The Globe and Mail)


Nations in Asia imposed new restrictions on Monday, while an abrupt British quarantine on travellers from Spain threw Europe’s vaunted summer reopening into disarray, as the world confronted the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections. (Reuters)

The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak. (Associated Press)

President Donald Trump is deploying another 100 deputy U.S. Marshals to Portland and is considering sending 50 more U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel. (Washington Post)

Representative John Lewis laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, becoming the first Black lawmaker to receive the honour. (New York Times)

In Featured Opinion

Dr. Lawrence Loh and Paul Yeung: Health of Canadians must be the priority in Canada-U.S. border discussions

Penny Collenette: It is time to move ethics to the top of the cabinet agenda

The Kicker

Here’s a take we weren’t expecting on a Monday: from BBC News, what the heroin industry can teach us about solar power. 

Have a nice night.

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