One of the co-founders of WE Charity says he “misspoke” when he told youth leaders that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s staff reached out in April to see if the organization would administer a $900-million federal student-aid program.
The comments are in response to a video of the Zoom call with youth leaders obtained by The Canadian Press, in which Marc Kielburger says Trudeau’s office reached out the day after the prime minister first announced plans for the Canada Student Service Grant on April 22.
“I misspoke,” Kielburger said in a statement on Tuesday. “Speaking loosely and enthusiastically, I incorrectly referred to the Prime Minister’s Office. In fact, the outreach came from unelected officials at Employment and Social Development Canada.”
Trudeau has been on the defensive since the government revealed last week that WE had been chosen to administer the grant program, which will provide students with up to $5,000 to put toward their education costs for volunteering for causes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.